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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
“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)