AIR INDIA ON HIRING SPREE
Air India is hiring over 80 junior pilots for its wide-body Boeing B-777 and B-787 aircraft to meet the shortage of cockpit crew. Air India currently has about 170 copilots to fly its 15 B-777 and 23 B-787 planes as against a requirement of over 370. It is scheduled to take delivery of four more Boeing 787 as well as three B-777 between July this year and March next year. The airline operates these planes mainly on its long and ultra long haul routes. 95 candidates were selected for the simulator test after they cleared the written examination. Of these, 85 could clear the simulator test and they are now in the process of joining Air India. As these candidates are already typerated on narrow-body Boeing 737, conversion as pilots for the wide-body B737 can be done easily. Conversion from a narrow body Boeing pilot to a wide-body Boeing aircraft pilot is easier than from Airbus to Boeing or vice versa as the training period then gets reduced from eight sessions to four, thus reducing the type-rating cost as well. Typerating is certification by DGCA for a pilot to fly a certain aircraft type that requires additional training. This involves huge cost, beyond the scope of the initial license and aircraft class training.