Sunday, August 20, 2017

DGCA 1-yr notice period norm for pilots may hit expansion plans: Experts

Mumbai: New DGCA notice period norms for airline commanders may hit the expansion plans of the domestic carriers besides significantly impacting the entry of potential strategic investors, according to experts.

The new rules, put in place by the aviation regulator last week, make it mandatory for commanding pilots to serve at least one year notice period if they want to quit and join another airline. Before this, a six-months notice period was sufficient for this purpose.

The norms are also facing opposition from some airline unions.

The revised norms may not withstand legal scrutiny if challenged in a court, but they can also have major commercial outcome for some market participants, said aviation think-tank CAPA's South Asia head Kapil Kaul.

"This decision (of extending the notice period to one year) will impact expansion, forward planning and increase costs. All the start-up airlines, including possible strategic investors considering entry due to the 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) rule, will be significantly impacted," Kaul said.
According to the government, domestic scheduled carriers are likely to induct over 384 aircraft in their fleet by March 2020. Currently, the combined fleet of these carriers stands at 490.

These airlines will require a good number of pilots - both junior and senior (commanders) pilots - to operate these many planes.
While an airline typically needs 10 pilots per aircraft, most Indian carriers have brought it down to 8.
20/08/17 PTI/Business Standard