State-run Alliance Air has highest number of foreign pilots among all airlines

45 foreign pilots working for Alliance Air – a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India; private sector Indigo employs 33 foreign pilots

State-run Alliance Air has highest number of foreign pilots among all airlines

Foreign pilots are hired by Indian operators to overcome the shortage of aircrew in the country. Photo for representation

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6

State-run Alliance Air employs the highest number of foreign pilots flying on domestic routes among all airlines in the country. It is also among the top airlines to hire retired personnel for flight operations.

Amongst 125 foreign pilots employed by 21 air operators as on date, 45 are working for Alliance Air followed by 33 with private sector Indigo, according to data made available by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Foreign pilots are hired by Indian operators to overcome the shortage of aircrew in the country in the backdrop of the aviation sector having witnessed consistent growth, with a significant increase in the fleet sizes as well as the number of destinations over the past several years.

Civil aviation rules require security clearance for the issue of Foreign Aircrew Temporary Authorisation to foreign pilots for flying in India. Requests by operators for verification of the antecedents of foreign pilots are forwarded by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to intelligence agencies.  

The ministry’s data also reveals that Indigo and Alliance are among the top airlines that have hired retired personnel for carrying out flight operations. Indigo has hired 31 retired persons while Alliance has employed 22.

Alliance Air is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, the national flag carrier to fly on regional routes connecting tier-2 and tier-3 stations. At present, it operates 60 flights daily to 43 destinations, including six in north India, with a fleet of 18 ATR-72 – 70-seater turboprops. It is also inducting two Dornier-228 – 19-seater aircraft.

Indigo, on the other hand, is a low-cost private operator having the largest fleet size in the country, comprising a mix of Airbus 320/321 and ATR-72.

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