IndiGo plans to make behavioural testing a requirement for pilot upgrade and promotion

IndiGo, India’s largest airline, will require pilots to participate in Behavioural Event Interviews in order to be upgraded and promoted to management positions.

According to an internal memo reviewed by Business Standard, Behavioral Assessment Interviews (BEI) will be required for all management positions in the flight operations department, including Fleet Supervisors, trainers, and auditors, as well as for pilots seeking upgrades as captains from senior first officers.

IndiGo has collaborated with human resource consulting firm Aon Hewitt to create the programme, which will make BEI mandatory for upgrades and leadership positions.

IndiGo plans to make behavioural testing a requirement for pilot upgrade and promotion

The inclusion of BEI as part of upgrade and promotion comes in the backdrop of pilot unrest in the company, due to a delay in restoration of salary cuts which were induced in phase during two years of the pandemic.

The airline suspended five pilots—in what is the first cause of action against organised labour protest the airline witnessed in its inception.

“The attitude of its employees plays a pivotal role in shaping an organization. With our focus being on enhancing and shaping the right attitude for Pilots, inside and outside the cockpit, we move towards our next critical step in the Pilot Upgrade Project. I am confident that these behavioral interviews will help us choose and upgrade the right people for the right job which is a much required necessity for any organization to become world class,”

Ashim Mittra, Senior Vice President, Flight Operations, IndiGo

In human resources terms, the objective of a BEI is to get very detailed behavioural descriptions of how a person will react under different conditions. In aviation, it is a crucial part of crew resource management, to choose the best-aligned candidates for the company and mitigate the future risks of pilot conflicts.

An IndiGo spokesperson said that while the BEI interviews will currently be rolled out for the flight operations department, gauging the impact and outcome of the same, it can be implemented across the departments.

A senior executive of the airline said that during the interview if a person fails, he will be handled and counselled by experts for six months after which he can reappear for the interview.

IndiGo has collaborated with human resource consulting firm Aon Hewitt to create the programme, which will make BEI mandatory for upgrades and leadership positions.

Inclusion of BEI is part of our long term plan to help align our Pilots to the company’s culture and values by selecting the right attitude and the right behaviour for the right work profile. It will identify and upgrade those pilots who are already aligned and guide those who need to be moulded and polished,” the executive said adding that while currently BEI will be used for upgrades & management positions it will soon be launched for newly inducted pilots too.

“We need to identify leadership competencies in our pilots which are aligned to the core values of IndiGo and give our customers an enhanced experience of on-time, hassle-free and courteous experience from the flight deck,” he said.

The airline has also begun a new process for newly hired pilots called “culture training,” in which they will spend time with other flight operations departments such as rostering and scheduling to get used to their new jobs.

The airline has also begun a new process for newly hired pilots called “culture training”

Pilot pay has become a thorny issue for India’s largest airline, with pilots dissatisfied that their pre-Covid pay has not yet been fully restored.

Despite a partial salary increase, pilots are still disgruntled because the airline is now operating over 1,600 flights per day, which is higher than before COVID grounded travel.

However, senior executives of the airline pointed out that the number of flights is not an indicator that the airline has regained its financial health and utilisation of aircraft still remains low with high fuel prices increasing the cost of operations manifold.

ALSO READ – IndiGo pilots investigated for using obscene language on emergency radio frequency

A few unhappy pilots expressing unhappiness over salary cuts even used expletives on the radio while operating aircraft, prompting an investigation by civil aviation regulator DGCA.

(With Inputs from Business Standard)

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