Air India offers to rehire pilots post-retirement for 5 years

Tata Group-owned Air India has offered to re-hire pilots post their retirement for five years as the airline looks for stability in operations amid talk of acquiring 300 single-aisle planes, according to internal communication. Air India is considering re-hiring these pilots as commanders.

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Tata Group took control of Air India on January 27 this year

The retirement age for pilots in Air India is 58 like all other employees of the airline. Before the pandemic, Air India used to re-hire its retired pilots on contract but the practice was discontinued after late March 2020.

The contracts of such pilots were also terminated to partially offset the impact of the pandemic. However, pilots at other private airlines fly until they reach the age of 65 years.

“We are pleased to inform you are being considered for post-retirement contract as commander in Air India for a period of 5 years or till you attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier, during the period of post retirement contract, you will be paid the remuneration and flying allowances, as admissible, as per policy of Air India to such appointments.”

Vikas Gupta, Air India Deputy General Manager for Personnel

Pilots are the most expensive asset for an airline and get paid the highest compared to other key roles such as cabin crew and aircraft maintenance engineers.

Moreover, the shortage of adequately trained pilots in the domestic aviation industry has always been an issue.

Interested pilots have been told to submit their details along with written consent by June 23.

With Indian aviation set to grow exponentially, there are plenty of opportunities in the market. And COVID-19 pandemic no longer poses any significant threats to global aviation, the industry has embarked on an upward recovery trajectory.

Naturally, all Indian airlines will be willing to fight hard to get the biggest possible slice of the ever-increasing pile. To be able to meet the increased demand, they will need more manpower, manpower that most airlines laid off during the pandemic in a bid to keep costs low. As a result, several carriers are scrambling to hire talent before the competition.