New Delhi, April 29, 2018: Ongoing privatisation and mounting losses have not deterred the flag carrier Air India from adding to the already-bloated workforce, as it’s in the
process of hiring around 270 co-pilots in the reserved category. Sources in the know of the development also say the airline has created a new post of chief pilot as well despite it already having two somewhat similar positions–director of operations and executive director of operations–being manned by two senior pilots.
Air India has, however, defended the hiring plan, citing operational and regulatory requirements. The massive pilot recruitment comes on the back of
hiring of 500 cabin crew by the state-run carrier weeks before government floated a preliminary information memorandum inviting bidders to buy 76 per cent stake. Government will also exit the low-cost international subsidiary Air India Express and its 50 per cent stake in the ground handling joint venture AISATS. The rest of the stake is held by SATS or Singapore Airport Terminal Services according to aviationindia.net.
“Air India is in the process of adding 270 co-pilots when such crew is already in excess. And this hiring is being done in the reserved category and that too at a time when there is a big question mark on the issue of retention of the workforce post-privatistion,” airline sources said. Air India has 11,214 permanent employees as of December 2017. These include 2,056 on deputation to other companies and agencies. It also has 2,913 on contract and 2,661 on deputation from other group companies as per the government memorandum on privatisation.