Air India hunting for pilots overseas

Air India, which is acquiring 68 Boeing aircraft for $11 billion, is on a major pilot-sourcing drive, as the state-run airline is enhancing existing services, apart from starting new ones.

The national flag carrier has already sourced 20 pilots from Belgrade-based Jat Airways Training Centre, and 18 more will join shortly.

Air India, which has a fleet of 48 aircraft, will require 100 pilots every year for the next seven years. According to S Venkat, executive director (finance ), the airline will have a fleet size of 59 by the year-end. “We have the largest fleet of 48 aircraft now, since inception. We have firmed up plans to enhance the services of our low-cost subsidiary, Air India Express, to 115 flights a week during summer against current 57 flights a week,” Venkat said.

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