“No shortage of commercial pilots in India”: Scindia

India is at the cusp of explosive growth in air travel both domestically and internationally within Asia and other international destinations. Market watchers will note all airlines in India gradually shifting their focus and placing orders for long-range/wide-body aircraft.

Initiatives by the Government of India – UDAN – Regional Connectivity Scheme are designed to make air travel convenient, accessible and cost-effective for people. These new schemes are acting as an impetus for airlines and several large orders with manufacturers have been placed and will continue to be placed.

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said in Parliament on July 28 that there is no shortage of pilots in India at the moment.

As the skies get more crowded and business travel rises in lockstep with the resumption of normal office routines across India, flying schools and crew training academies are getting a fresh lease of life, too.

As things now stand, the sector is staring at a huge shortage of trained, type-rated pilots and ramp engineers.

“There is a huge demand for trained commercial pilots in India right now amid a pick-up in air travel, Regional airlines such as FlyBig, new airlines such as Akasa, addition of new routes by airlines, and post-pandemic pent-up demand will lead to the need for more pilots.”

Captain Mihir Bhagvati, president, Bombay Flying Club.

Various estimates showed that about 400-600 commercial pilots graduate every year from various flying training schools in India, whereas the country would require 1,500-2,000 pilots per year to meet the rising demand for air travel. That will mean the industry will need about 10,000 pilots over the next five years in a ‘business-as-usual’ situation.

Demand for more flight schools soars.

“The number of pilots receiving their Commercial Pilot Licences (CPL) in India is increasing every year, the DGCA issued 862 CPLs in 2021, an all-time high.

Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Speaking about licenses issued to commercial pilots by the training academy after 2010, the minister said a total of 7,970 licenses have been issued since, including 699 CPLs issued this year till June 30.

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