Akasa Air leads in pay hikes for pilots; raises salaries by 60%

Radhika Bansal

12 Sep 2022

Akasa Air, India’s newest airline, is leading on pay hikes for pilots, marking a reversal of the pandemic-era aviation squeeze that saw salary cuts and job losses globally, said people with knowledge of the matter.

This is likely to set off salary increases at other carriers to ensure they have enough pilots as air traffic recovers amid fleet expansion and Gulf carriers embarking on a hiring spree, they said.

Akasa raised pilot pay by an average of 60% — captains will start at INR 4.5 lakh a month and first officers at INR 1.8 lakh — from October. This is against INR 2.79 lakh and INR 1.11 lakh, respectively, at present.

Akasa Air is leading on pay hikes for pilots; raised pay by 60%

Depending on experience and hours flown, the pay could be higher. At the maximum limit of 70 hours per month, a captain can earn INR 8 lakh, about 28% more than INR 6.25 lakh now, said the people cited above.

ALSO READ - Akasa Air to expand operations with 150 weekly flights

The carrier needs more pilots for the rapid expansion it has planned, said people with knowledge of the matter. The airline currently has four Boeing 737 Maxs and plans to induct 18 more planes by March 2023. An airline typically needs 12 pilots per aircraft, including reserves.

ALSO READ - Big plane order may be placed by Akasa Air in the next 18 months

“The airline needs to build up a pool of pilots and a solid bench strength,” said a person aware of the development. “With Tatas starting expansion and hiring pilots, and Middle East airlines opening up rapid hiring, there is little option other than to hike pay to attract more pilots.”

Akasa currently has four Boeing 737 Maxs and plans to induct 18 more planes by March 2023.

Tata group’s plans include the revival of Air India and expansion of Vistara. The transfer can have a cascading impression as different Indian carriers must increase salaries to forestall attrition.

The senior administration of Air India Categorical, which can be planning an enlargement, held a gathering over the weekend to guarantee its crew of an enhancement within the wage construction and mentioned folks with data on the matter.

Akasa’s pay bundle is 8-10% % larger than what market chief IndiGo shall be paying its captains from November, by when salaries on the firm shall be absolutely restored, having been lower by practically 28% in the course of the pandemic downturn.

Akasa raised pilot pay by an average of 60% — captains will start at INR 4.5 lakh a month and first officers at INR 1.8 lakh — from October

“IndiGo expects a race in hiring pilots and has ready by constructing a bench energy,” mentioned an airline govt.

The airline, which operates around 1,500 flights, has resumed hiring pilots for its Airbus A320 fleet. It has additionally elevated the tempo of changing first officers to captains to virtually 30 pilots monthly.

“Upgrading eligible first officers to captains can be a type of crew retention coverage,” the chief mentioned. “The corporate’s fast enlargement tempo signifies that the wait time for improve is pretty negligible, as in comparison with rivals.”

(With Inputs from The Economic Times)

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Hiring spree starts for major Indian carriers

Jinen Gada

12 Sep 2022

Several domestic airlines and one international airline have announced vacancies for the position of cabin crew and pilots across multiple locations in India. The sudden demand for crew comes as passenger volumes have seen a significant surge following the two-year Covid-19 pandemic-induced lockdown.

The hiring comes as the Indian aviation sector sees a significant rise in passenger volumes after the two-year lockdown.

The skies have opened up for those in the aviation industry – in more ways than one. Air traffic has revived after two years of the pandemic and with two new airlines – Akasa Air and Jet Airways – hiring, opportunities are back on the horizon for pilots and cabin crew.

The hiring spree starts for major Indian carriers.

A simple, straightforward advertisement appeared in newspapers. It read, “Alliance Air invites applications for various posts”, with “various posts” highlighted in bold.

Before that, last month, a call from Jet Airways inviting cabin crew applications brought in over 700 CVs in five hours flat, the airline’s CEO Sanjiv Kapoor tweeted.

"We are committed to bolstering our team and further strengthening the customer experience for travellers, while we boost our operational capabilities by seeking the right people. Qatar Airways has always had a special bond with India and with this recruitment drive, we are further solidifying our commitment to the market.”Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Airways Group

AirAisa India and Vistara have conducted their recruitment drives, and Qatar, IndiGo and Air India are still looking for candidates. Qatar Airways Group has also announced that it is looking to onboard new employees from India to support its global operations and enhance customer experience over the coming months.

ALSO READ - IndiGo is on the hiring spree as it ramps operations

Indian carriers also losing pilots, and cabin crew to airlines in West Asia and elsewhere.

And on July 2 when another airline, Air India, held job interviews, the cabin crew of IndiGo skipped work en masse to participate.

ALSO READ - IndiGo initiates disciplinary action after several technicians call in sick

Air India is holding walk-in interviews for cabin crew at Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Guwahati and Goa. The national airline is also looking to hire senior trainee pilots for its Airbus fleet, and pilots for Boeing B777 planes.

Air Asia India last week held a recruitment drive for cabin crew in Gurugram for the Delhi-National Capital Region. It had also conducted hiring drives for cabin crew in Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Dehradun and Lucknow.

Vistara which operates Airbus A320, A321 and Boeing B787 aircraft, has also conducted recruitment programmes for cabin crew in Bengaluru and Mumbai, recently.

ALSO READ - Vistara plans to hire 5,000 staff in 2022 as air traffic improves

The Indian aviation sector is also seeing an uptick in hiring due to the arrival of new airlines.

Competition is likely to soar in the country's aviation sector during 2022, as new players enter the market going all guns blazing to hire the best talent to ensure a perfect take-off.

The great Indian talent war is on in the domestic aviation landscape which has seen a lot of upheaval in the past two years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the post-pandemic revival and new players entering the industry.

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Akasa Air operates its maiden flight from Chennai

Jinen Gada

12 Sep 2022

India's new airline Akasa Air on Saturday inaugurated its first flight from Chennai, the fifth city in its network, enabling the airline to offer twice-daily flights in each direction on the Chennai-Bengaluru route.

Further expanding its operations from Chennai, the airline will start one additional daily flight from September 15 on the Chennai-Mumbai route and will add daily flights on the Chennai-Bengaluru route from September 26.

In addition, to strengthening its pan-India network connectivity, the airline has also added a new route between Chennai and Kochi, which will commence on September 26.

Akasa Air is India’s upcoming ultra-low-cost airline with the greenest and youngest fleet.

This rapid expansion of cities, routes and frequencies is in line with the airline's vision of adopting a phased but rapid approach to growing its network across India.

"We have achieved yet another milestone today with the launch of commercial flights from Chennai, which is the fifth city in our network. From today, we will offer double-daily flights in each direction on this new route.Within the next five days, we will strengthen our network from Chennai by connecting to Mumbai, the financial capital of India, which will become operational from September 15. On September 26, with the start of the Chennai-Kochi route we will further strengthen our connectivity from Chennai.The increased capacities across these key focus cities backed by affordable fares will provide our customers many options to choose from while planning their travel. We are delighted to augment our network to meet our commitment of progressively adding more cities along new sectors."Praveen Iyer, Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Akasa Air

The airline started its commercial operations with two aircraft and has subsequently received four aircraft till now.

Akasa Air announced its airline code – “QP”. 

It will continue to grow its fleet to establish a strong pan-India presence with a focus on key cities and metro to tier-2 and 3 route connectivity.

ALSO READ – Big plane order may be placed by Akasa Air in the next 18 months

Akasa Air's fleet size will be 18 aircraft by the end of March 2023 and over the next four years, the airline will add 54 additional aircraft, taking its total fleet size to 72.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Airbus revokes all remaining A350 orders from Qatar Airways

Radhika Bansal

12 Sep 2022

Airbus on Thursday, September 8 confirmed it had revoked all remaining A350 orders from Qatar Airways, raising the stakes in safety and contractual dispute with the Gulf carrier.

"Airbus confirms that it has removed 19 Qatar Airways A350s from the backlog," a spokesperson said. Qatar Airways had no immediate comment.

ALSO READ - Airbus scraps outstanding Qatar Airways A350 order amid paint dispute

The rare order cancellation, confirming a decision exclusively reported by Reuters in August, was revealed in monthly order data published on September 8.

Airbus revokes all remaining A350 orders from Qatar Airways

Airbus said it had booked orders for 843 jets between January and August, or a net total of 637 after cancellations including routine order reversals by customers and the aircraft withheld from Qatar by Airbus.

It delivered 382 jets over the same period, or a net total of 380 after deducting two A350 aircraft built for Aeroflot but impossible to deliver due to sanctions.

ALSO READ - Airbus responds to Qatar Airways’s A350 dispute by cancelling A321 Order

Airbus also cancelled Qatar's order for 50 A321neos in January, which CEO Akbar Al Baker called "a matter of considerable regret and frustration." In July, Qatar firmed up an order for 25 Boeing 737 MAX 10 jets to help fill its narrowbody needs.

Airbus confirms that it has removed 19 Qatar Airways A350s from the backlog

ALSO READ - Qatar Airways signs a deal for 737 Max and new 777X freighters with Boeing

In August 2021, Qatar grounded its A350 jets due to concerns over surface paint issues, which it and the nation's aviation regulator said posed a threat to the safety and airworthiness of the aircraft. As of June 2022, the carrier has grounded 23 A350s.

A spokesperson told Insider in January that "the defects are not superficial, and one of the defects causes the aircraft's lightning protection system to be exposed and damaged."

Qatar also pointed to potential moisture and ultraviolet exposure to the composite structure and cracking in the composite that could damage a "high percentage of rivets on the aircraft fuselage."

In August 2021, Qatar grounded its A350 jets due to concerns over surface paint issues

Since Qatar raised concerns over the A350, Airbus and the carrier have been at a stalemate on how to resolve the issue. Airbus has repeatedly pushed back on Qatar, saying the damaged paint is simply "cosmetic."

"The attempt by this customer to misrepresent this specific topic as an airworthiness issue represents a threat to the international protocols on safety matters," the planemaker said in a December statement.

The European Aviation Safety Agency has backed Airbus by saying the paint does not impact airworthiness.

While Airbus has "provided the necessary guidance to its customers and operators for continuous operations," Qatar is still unhappy with the planemakers' response. As a result, Qatar sued Airbus in a London High Court and is seeking USD 618 million in damages.

A total of 73 Airbus A350s, comprising 34 A350-900s and 40 A350-1000s were planned for the Qatar Airways fleet.

ALSO READ - Qatar Airways prepared to take the Airbus legal dispute to trial

The trial will occur in the UK next summer, but, in the meantime, the court told Airbus it could sell its undelivered A350s to other carriers, like Air India.

A total of 73 Airbus A350s, comprising 34 A350-900s and 40 A350-1000s were planned for the Qatar Airways fleet. There were still 21 A350-1000s orders pending before Airbus' final order cancellation.

Qatar Airways currently has unfilled orders for 125 planes, all from Boeing. According to data provided by ch-aviation, the Gulf airline still expects to receive 25 Boeing 737 MAX 10, two Boeing 777-200F, one B777-300(ER), 24 B777-8, 50 B777-9, and 23 Boeing 787-9.

(With Inputs from Reuters)

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India and Sweden sign an agreement to promote cooperation in smart and sustainable aircraft technology


11 Sep 2022

On August 25, 2022, at the AAI Office in Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, New Delhi, India, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and LFV Air Navigation Services of Sweden (LUFTFARTSVERKET) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate partnerships that will foster the innovation of smart, sustainable aviation technology.


To explore innovative aviation solutions, the agreement brings together air navigation actors from Sweden and India, two countries with some of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets. Sweden has a track record of developing and deploying the next generation of sustainable aviation technology.

Both parties acknowledged in the Memorandum of Understanding the urgent need for swift development of next-generation smart airports and the requirement to create sustainable transportation systems.

Representative | BioFuels International

The MoU further noted:

Technical transfer and information exchange programmes in aviationEncourage cordial ties between the two organisationsAttempt to increase technological collaboration at airportsEncourage the creation of a secure, reliable, sustainable, and effective aviation sectorPositive contributions in promoting bilateral and international trade

Innovating sustainably within the aviation sector is imperative. India and Sweden have the ambition, skills, and knowledge to be pivotal in the industry’s green transformation – shaping the future with collaboration to delivers smart airports and aviation technology that delivers economic growth and a greener futuresaid Jan Larsson, CEO, Business Sweden

This MoU will open the door for bilateral aviation knowledge and technology exchange between the two nations. Utilising Swedish innovation and knowledge would enable Indian businesses to grow faster. The companies may collaborate in areas of common interest under the auspices of the MoU.

A Joint Working Group will be set up to prioritise interest areas and promote cooperation between the two nations. In addition to other ongoing engagements in sustainability, healthcare, innovation, energy, and infrastructure, this MoU will be essential for advancing government-to-government ties between Sweden and India in the aviation industry.

We are looking forward to this addition to the already expansive India-Sweden collaboration, which already include sustainability, health, innovation, energy, and will now extend to civil aviation. I’m looking forward to seeing how the MoU can foster more opportunities for Sweden and India to explore climate-smart solutions within the aviation sectorsaid Klas Molin, Ambassador of Sweden to India

Klas Molin | NDTV

The government organisations of Sweden and India, respectively, AAI and LFV, will collaboratively work on the following areas of cooperation:

Air traffic managementAir traffic controlRemote airport management and traffic controlAirspace design and planningAirport design and infrastructureDigitalised airport and aviationCapability and trainingSustainable airports and aviationProcesses for pilotsProcesses for scale-up

India Sweden partnership is on the upswing. This MoU covers one more new ground and will facilitate technology collaborations to improve safety, sustainability and efficiency in the aviation sector.  This is an important development also in the context of the booming regional air connectivity in Indiasaid Tanmaya Lal, Ambassador of India to Sweden

Tanmaya Lal | IndiaTIES

Mr. M. Suresh, Member (Air Navigation Services), AAI, and Mr. Magnus Corell, Deputy Director General, LFV Sweden, signed the Memorandum of Understanding.

ALSO READ - AAI partners with a Swedish air navigation provider for smart aviation solutions


COVER: New Jersey Business Magazine

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Go First to postpone IPO again till November

Radhika Bansal

10 Sep 2022

Wadia group-owned Go First has once again deferred its initial public offering (IPO) to raise INR 3,600 crore till November on weak consumer sentiment surrounding aviation stocks.

ALSO READ - Go First files for IPO at INR 3,600 crore valuation

"Go First has been advised to wait for the new ATF pricing mechanism to kick in before launching its IPO. The new ATF pricing mechanism is expected to boost sentiment in the aviation sector," a person aware of the airline’s plans said.

The airline had planned to come out with its delayed IPO in the second quarter of this financial year, but will now wait for a couple of months before considering a launch.

Go First to postpone IPO again till November

Another person said that while Go First was optimistic about its IPO on the back of a recovery in domestic and overseas air travel, a weak April-June quarter, accompanied by rising costs of aviation turbine fuel, has caused the airline to delay its IPO plans once again.

Go First's Draft Red Herring Prospectus has expired on August 26 and the airline will need to refile its IPO papers with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

A public issue or rights issue needs to be opened within 12 months of the date of issuance of observations, according to SEBI regulations. This period was extended by six months during the pandemic, but no longer.

ALSO READ - Go First IPO set to expire soon

Go First's Draft Red Herring Prospectus has expired on August 26 and the airline will need to refile its IPO papers with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

This is the third time Go First has delayed its IPO plans since 2021. The airline had received approval from the market regulator for its IPO in 2021 but had held back the share sale plan first in August 2021 after SEBI called the promoters, the Wadias, for a pending inquiry, and then in December 2021, Go First further delayed the offering due to the outbreak of the Omicron wave.

ALSO READ - Go First’s IPO will take place on December 8, with proceeds going towards debt reduction

The Russia-Ukraine war, which started in February, and the mega IPO of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) also delayed the airline's IPO plans. Go First has been planning a listing since at least 2015 when it was known as GoAir.

Prices of ATF

Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices have shot up almost 120% since May 2021, peaking at INR 141,232.87 per kl in June.

The new mechanism is expected to help airlines predict ATF price movements based on international prices and help them be better prepared in case global crude prices rise.

To reduce ATF prices in India, the government had asked oil marketing companies (OMCs) to switch to the MOPAG (Mean of Platts Arab Gulf)-based pricing system instead of the prevailing dual pricing mechanism to determine ATF prices.

ALSO READ - New ATF pricing gives a boast for airlines in India

The new mechanism is expected to help airlines predict ATF price movements based on international prices and help them be better prepared in case global crude prices rise.

Fuel costs now account for 50% of overall airline expenses for domestic airlines in India. Airlines in India had to find a way around rising ATF prices even as the industry was stepping up operations to cater to rising demand after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and fare caps imposed by the government still in place.

Go First plans to take deliveries of 10 aircraft per year until 2023-24 and another 72 aircraft will be delivered between 2023-24 and 2026-27.

Go First plans to use INR 2,200 crore to be raised from the IPO to reduce debt and repay lessors. The remaining INR 1,600 crore will be deployed to expand the airline’s operations in India and internationally, including adding flights to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.

The airline expects domestic passenger traffic to surpass pre-COVID-19 levels by 5-10% by the second quarter of 2022-23 in the absence of a new wave of COVID-19.

ALSO READ - Go First plans to launch the IPO by July after months of deliberation; mulls inducting more aircraft

The airline plans to convert its entire fleet of Airbus A320 Neos and Airbus A320 Ceos to Airbus A321 Neos. The airline currently has 52 A320 Neos and 6 A320 Ceos in its fleet.

Go First plans to take deliveries of 10 aircraft per year until 2023-24 and another 72 aircraft will be delivered between 2023-24 and 2026-27.

(With Inputs from MoneyControl)