Friday, August 04, 2006

Airlines seek fewer foreign pilots to trim costs

Mumbai: Airlines in India are planning to cut down their expenditure on employing foreign pilots, with several of them chalking out plans to set up their own pilot training schools for locals. Indian carriers spend around Rs 162 crore a year on employing expatriates. At present, there are about 300 foreign pilots working in India.
Airlines, including Air-India, Air Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines, will have pilot training schools in the next two to three years, and will be able to train and hire Indian pilots on a relatively less salary.
Lowcost carriers are also optimistic about cutting down costs by employing Indian pilots.
Indian carriers currently spend about Rs 18 crore a year on employing foreign pilots.
Indian and foreign commanders for an Airbus aircraft each get Rs 4 lakh a month. However, a foreign pilot earned about Rs 50,000 more a month in perks.
But experts feel that the target to phase out foreigners will not be an easy one in the medium-term.
04/08/06 Neelasri Barman & Sagar Malviya/Financial Express
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