Air India said on Friday it plans to hire as many as 4,200 cabin crew and 900 pilots in 2023. Coming as it does amid a series of layoff jobs from around the world, the news signals the revival of the Indian flag carrier, which returned to the Tata fold last year.
Earlier this month, Air India stunned aviation industry observers when it placed a mammoth order for 470 passenger jets. The Tata Group-owned airline also said it has options and purchase rights to buy 370 more aircraft from Airbus and Boeing over the next ten years. The biggest single aircraft order in history showed the Indian carrier was buying 220 Boeing planes and 250 Airbus aircraft at one go.
Air India started a detailed re-organization drive last year after the storied Tata Group completed its acquisition. Air India, which had an impeccable track record until decades ago, was in decline in the last two decades as debt mounted.
The Tata Group had always considered taking Air India back into its fold and this long-held dream was fulfilled last year. Air India was established in the mid-1930s by the Tata Group, but was later nationalized by the Indian government.
Air India's revamp and expansion come at a time when the Indian aviation industry is seeing break-out growth. The airline has already added more than 1,900 cabin crew between May 2022 and February 2023.
"With a sizeable aircraft order that was announced earlier in the month, more flights on international and domestic networks, and re-alignment of domestic routes with AIX connect, cabin crew will play a decisive role in shaping the present and future of the Air India group. Addition of fresh talent will also accelerate the pace of cultural transformation at Air India, which is an integral part of our Vihaan.AI transformation program. We are also looking to step up hiring of more pilots and maintenance engineers," Sandeep Verma, head of Air India's inflight services, said, according to NDTV.
Air India currently has a fleet size of about 140 planes. With the addition of 470 aircraft over the coming decade, the Group will be able to increase its footprint in the domestic and international sectors. The group comprises full service carriers Air India and Vistara, as well as low-cost airlines Air India Express and AirAsia India.