Freight Dawgs Rule
- Dec 17, 2003
- Total Time
Foreign pilots may be hired to fly Air India's B777s
New Delhi , Aug. 26
AIR India, which is looking to expand its reach in the global market, plans to employ more foreign pilots. Official sources told Business Line that the airline was not only looking to recruit foreign captains for operating flights of its 100 per cent subsidiary, Air India Express, but also planning to hire more Commanders for the Boeing 777 aircraft that it has and plans to lease in the future.
"The airline is in constant dialogue with firms abroad to employ pilots. We are talking to both individual pilots and agencies to get the best possible. There is a shortage in India and the airline is employing foreign pilots only to meet the shortfall and ensure that its plans of having a fleet of at least 50 aircraft by the winter schedule 2005-06 is not affected," official sources said.
The airline has already issued tenders for leasing another four Boeing 777 aircraft for a period of 5-7 years and would require pilots to operate these aircraft as and when they join the fleet. Besides, AI has also drawn plans to expand its route network, a move that will see it add flights to existing and new cities around the globe. The airline has already announced its intention of launching flights to South Africa among other global destinations.
In the last few weeks itself AI inducted some foreign commanders mainly for operating services of the low cost airline that has been affected by the flight of pilots. However, officials maintain that the departure of pilots have not affected the regular operations of AI Express.
"The operations of AI Express from Kerala to the Gulf have been operating as normal. We have decided to start operating flights by AI from Delhi and Mumbai to ensure that the low cost airline schedules are not affected," a senior airline official said.