Saturday, February 06, 2021

IndiGo starts hiring, signs agreement with Chimes Academy for pilot program

India's largest airline IndiGo has started hiring, hinting at tailwinds in the Indian civil aviation sector after a long spell of severe dullness on account of COVID-19.

IndiGo on Saturday signed a Cadet Pilot Program with Chimes Aviation Academy, as per which 15 cadets will be trained over the period of next 2-2.5 years and will then be inducted into IndiGo as pilots.

This is the seventh cadet pilot program partnership for IndiGo. Nearly 300 pilots have been inducted by IndiGo under the cadet pilot programs over last 8 years. These are the full training programs which commence from cadet selection until the stage where a cadet is ready to be inducted into an airline as a pilot.

The cadet pilot program with Chimes Aviation Academy will cost a candidate nearly Rs 85 lakh including type rating and commercial pilot license, Uday Punj, managing director, Chimes Aviation Academy told CNBC-TV18.

Civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola was the chief guest at the event. Kharola emphasised on the need for indigenous ecosystem for pilot training. It is important to note that Airports Authority of India has already invited preliminary bids to set up flying training schools at six airports of the country.

"Every year we get about 700 CPL licensed pilots, out of which half are trained abroad. This raises concerns about what is lacking in us...why we cannot train all the pilots...we can make India a hub for pilot training and this is a low-hanging fruit that we can pluck...our pilots need to be trained in India," Kharola said.

Kharola added that the culture of efficiency has come into the Indian aviation sector and in that, IndiGo, being the largest domestic airline, has been at the forefront.

While the aircraft and pilot induction program may have been slowed down during 2020 due to COVID-19, the long-term strategy has not changed, senior company executives at IndiGo indicated.

06/02/21 Anu Sharma/CNBC TV18

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