+

Air India Launches India's First Airline-Run Flying School: Get The Details Here

Air India is establishing a flying school in Amravati, Maharashtra. This new academy will train up to 180 pilots annually, offering a direct pathway for aspiring aviators to join Air India’s cockpit after completing additional training stages. The training fleet will include around 30 single-engine and four multi-engine aircraft from American manufacturer Piper and European […]

Air India Launches India's First Airline-Run Flying School: Get The Details Here
Air India Launches India's First Airline-Run Flying School: Get The Details Here

Air India is establishing a flying school in Amravati, Maharashtra. This new academy will train up to 180 pilots annually, offering a direct pathway for aspiring aviators to join Air India’s cockpit after completing additional training stages.

The training fleet will include around 30 single-engine and four multi-engine aircraft from American manufacturer Piper and European firm Diamond, according to a report by the Economic Times. This initiative is part of a broader push by the Indian government to promote commercial pilot training domestically, as currently, over 40% of Indian pilot trainees seek education abroad, often incurring costs between Rs 1.5-2 crore.

A source within Air India stated, “Air India aims to control the supply of the next generation of pilots and ensure high-quality training, which has been lacking in some Indian flying schools, prompting students to study abroad.” This initiative marks a significant shift from the training strategies of other major Indian airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet, which have traditionally partnered with independent flight schools both domestically and internationally.

Following its acquisition by the Tata Group, Air India has placed an order for 470 aircraft. CEO Campbell Wilson has indicated that the airline will introduce a new aircraft every six days throughout 2024. Initially, the new flying school will cater to Air India’s internal needs, but there are plans to potentially expand its services externally in the future.

In collaboration with Airbus and L3 Harris, Air India has also set up a training facility in Gurgaon equipped with six simulators to provide type-rated and recurrent training for its pilots. Indian aviation regulations require aspiring pilots to complete ab initio training to obtain a license. Further type-rated training is essential for operating specific aircraft models, like the Airbus A320 or Boeing 737, with annual recurrent training necessary to maintain these endorsements.

Sunil Bhaskaran, a Tata Group veteran and former CEO of AirAsia India, currently leads the development of Air India’s training infrastructure as the managing director of Air India Aviation Academy.

The substantial aircraft orders from Indian airlines, including Air India, IndiGo, and Akasa, totaling around 1,250 aircraft for delivery over the next decade, will significantly increase the demand for flight simulation centers. Kapil Kaul, CEO of CAPA India, highlighted the severity of the pilot shortage, noting that the issue is more critical than it appears and that poaching by Middle Eastern carriers could exacerbate the problem.

As Air India prepares for an influx of new aircraft and pilots, the establishment of the Amravati flying school represents a vital step in ensuring a steady supply of well-trained aviators to meet the growing demands of the Indian aviation industry.

Tags:

AIR INDIAFlying SchoolTDGThe Daily Guardian