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IndiGo cadet pilot scheme

Old 21st Jan 2013, 08:56
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Hell
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IndiGo cadet pilot scheme

Hello guys,

I spoke to one of the CAE Gondia representatives today and I was told that the IndiGo cadet scheme is still on and a job is assured upon completion of training..sounds too good to be true. I'm sure there has to be some catch.

What do you people think of this? I know there are a lot of unemployed CPL holders (close to 10000) but, just thought of contacting these people once again to check if the IndiGo cadet scheme is still on and surprisingly it is.

Also can someone please explain to me this scheme in a little detail like what are the terms and conditions etc. What's the fate of the other IndiGo cadets. Are most of them if not all are working as F/O's?

CF680E1 is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2013, 07:12
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The scheme is still on. But there is no job assurance. Only if you pass the interviews and sim-checks are you taken in for line training.

Screening and selection occur throughout the year. The starting dates for the course are 15th April, 13th June, 13th Sept, and 13th Dec. Your application must be sent in no later than five months before a course start date.

As for T&Cs, you get 80,000 INR/month for the first 500 hours and thereafter 1.5 lacs/month (or maybe it was 1.2, I'm not sure).

The other cadets are not in the best of situations. Things have been going bad lately at NFTI Gondia. They are not getting many flying hours in a month. Some still have clear their CPL exams, etc. From the guys who got their type-ratings and were selected, many are still waiting to get off the ground. This indicates a bit of an over-staffing issue.

Since the DGCA has also imposed a restriction on the number of 320s to be brought in this year, recruitment may be slightly hampered.
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 13:36
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Thanks for the reply contractpilot..btw, do you think its better finish off the training abroad? Doesn't look like these IndiGo cadets are given any preferential treatment except for the stipend..there must be some catch in that too.
It looks like its more of a "hall ticket" for the interview and the simulator assessment..
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 19:17
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How much money are you paying as a cadet pilot to NFTI Gondia to get a CPL & A320 Type rating.....???

They are not even returning the interest on that money by paying a stipend during training......

Clear all your DGCA exams for CPL & then head to USA for training.

While you are there, do a CFI, CFII & MEI also, that will teach you to become a much better pilot.

Get your CPL in USA & India for half the price what NFTI will charge......

Save the rest of money to pay when you a get a job or even better, invest in yourself, get the CFI, MEI or just go time building. With that money you can get an ATPL using time building in USA.

Beauty part is, all this can be done really fast in USA & one can have an ATPL with hundreds of multi engine hours, only in 2-3 yrs.... That will increase your experience, improve your skills & make you a better pilot & definitlely make you more marketable also....

But what do I know about flying........

Last edited by pilotbaba; 22nd Jan 2013 at 19:20.
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 02:35
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For the IndiGo cadet pilot scheme it is -

39 lacs(USD 72000) + another USD 30200(A320 TR)
it has to be completed within 19 months from the start.

Its expensive but, the "LOI" thing is what kind of gives me some "hope".

Even if I chose to do it abroad say Basair in Australia or Dean International in USA, the total expenditure for the CPL will be more or less the same.

I'm confused.
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 04:03
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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Its expensive but, the "LOI" thing is what kind of gives me some "hope".
Surprising, you are willing to drop almost $102,000 USD, equal to almost 55 lacs just on "some hope".......

Do you know how many flying schools have run away with peoples money.

BTW, it does not cost $72,000 USD to get a commercial in USA; you can easily do it in $40k to $50k with multi & CFI... For that much money, you can have your ATPL with hundreds of hrs on a multi engine & go to any corporate or cargo operator.

Good Luck is all I can say...... Hope things do turn out as you guys HOPE
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 04:44
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Are you sure about the expenditures in the US? I think including the stay and other monthly should come up to USD 70000 easily. I had a look at the ATP flying school and made a rough estimate. Btw, is it possible for an Indian to get into General Aviation in the US after the completion of the course for time building?
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 06:27
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You can continue to fly in the US until your student visa expires.

you can have your ATPL with hundreds of hrs on a multi engine & go to any corporate or cargo operator.
Interesting...I thought one needed 1500 hours for an FAA ATPL. Corporate or cargo in the US or in India? Should be India I guess but would like to confirm.
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 06:44
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Cochin VOCI , India
Age: 32
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The first thing you must understand is that there are no garuntees in aviation .

The cadet method above and the instructor method each have their own advantages and disadvantages as well .

That being said the IndiGo Cadet program is pretty good in the sense that it removes a lot of uncertainty when it comes to having a job offer at the end of completing your CPL .
You wont have to worry about being called for an assessment ( from the thousands of applications ) , passing the assessment and ofcourse passing THE Interview ( which in case you fail , you are banned from applying to IndiGo for life )

That being said its still an LOI , not a job garuntee. While I dont know the final terms and conditions , you will still have to pass things like a sim check etc after you finish the A320 type . But thats no different when compared to a person who was recruited through the normal route after CPL

It will take you a little over 5 years to recoup your investment after joining the company as a permanent employee .
How long it takes to join after CPL or A320 type rating depends on the situation at that time .

In the worst case scenario you will be CPL holder who graduated from NFTI ( albeit a very expensive CPL ) However failing the A320 sim check after type rating a couple of times might hamper your chances for a job elsewhere .
Although to date I believe IndiGo has honoured all the LOI they handed out whether it was to non rated CPL holders or the previous IndiGo cadets who were sent to CAE Phoenix USA .

Now for the second method , flying as an Instructor in the US

I am all for building experience after CPL in small aircraft whether its Instructor , Cargo corporate etc .

However this is mostly useful only if you plan continue in the US for life. However as an Indian citizen in the US your choices are very limited .

ATP flight school is the one of the more expensive flight schools in the US similar to how NFTI and IGRUA are expensive in India .
However their program is not DGCA compliant , since they dont give 100 hours SOLO and the DGCA ( as of this writing ) wont endorse the piper seminole on your DGCA license since its not yet registered in India

However its a good program if you plan to..........let me rephrase that if you are allowed to work the in the US for a major / regional airline .

@pilotbaba & @CF680E1

While instructor method in the US sounds good on paper , its practically difficult in the long run for an Indian Citizen and here is why.....

1. Only those flight schools that are approved to issue an F1 visa will be allowed to employ one of their students as a flight instructor . 90% of the flight schools issue an M1 visa which does not permit one to work in the US .

2. The period one is allowed is to work is limited ( i dont know the exact limit but I would say a max of 2 years )
Once this limit is over you will have to leave the US and come back

3. There is no garuntee that they will hire you as an instructor once you finish the rating with them ( I think ATP is an exception but I dont know if they are qualified to issue F1 visas ). You will have to apply and pass an interview with the flight school .

4. Not everyone is cut out or has the aptitude to become an instructor .

5. Flight instructors are not exactly paid very well in US flight schools . You have a higher quality of life flying an A320 for IndiGo than you will have as a flight instructor in the US

5. Now say you do finish time building as an instructor and come back with a couple of thousand hours on single and multi pistons , the question is how many operators in India are going to value that experience ?

Even to work with an operator as a C208 first officer one has to pay for a little over 5-7 lakh to obtain the rating and get it endorsed on the DGCA license .
Even after all this experience , in the eyes of the airlines in India( majority of them ) you will still be as valuable as a 200 hour CPL holder since you dont have turboprop or jet engined experience
If you then have to apply to IndiGo you will be competing with 200 hour CPL holders to even get called for the exam and still have to pay 30,000 USD for the A320 rating

Now there are non scheduled operators out there and companies like Blue dart that do hire experienced pilots but these jobs are far and few between .
There is also a lot of competition for these jobs from retired Air Force Pilots who have a couple of thousand hours of Jet or turboprop experience and hold a DGCA ATPL

I have a friend who after his CPL went on to work as a flight instructor in the US . Came back with a little over 1400 hours . He applied for his DGCA CPL in Feb 2011 and got it issued only in Sept 2011 because he did his recency in the philippines as his US visa was rejected twice when he wanted to go back .
Needless to say he lost a valuable opportunity to get hired with Blue Dart back in April 2011
He is still looking for a job by the way .
He never applied to the IndiGO CAE A320 program because he did not have the finances to pay for an A320 type rating as charged by CAE .

I have another friend who also worked as an instructor and had a little over 600 hours . He was hired by Blue Dart in 2011 because he was lucky enough to have his DGCA CPL by Feb 2011 .

As you can see the amount of uncertainty is pretty huge even after bringing experience to the table .

If you want to go the instructor / general aviation method do it somewhere else other than the US . I believe countries like Australia , New Zealand , Canada allow companies to sponsor an immigrant visa for foreign flight instructors . Once you become a permanent resident you can always move along to better paying pilot jobs that value this kind of experience .


I dont have numbers when it comes to how many pilots from the present cadet program which started in 2011 have finally joined IndiGo .
You can assume a year or more for getting the Basic CPL alone say sept 2012 , since they started in sept 2011
But i can take a good guess and say none of them have joined as of yet because all the LOI non rated CPL holders from the Sept , Oct 2011 and Jan 2012 onwards are yet to join IndiGo .

I believe only once they are inducted will the cadets from the 1st batch will be inducted ( which as of now looks to be the end of 2013 )

NFTI had some problems with respect to the amount of flying training going at a very slow pace due to the huge number of non IndiGo cadets as well .
They recently offered them to send them to CAE in Phoenix to finish off the flight training , so that they finish it much quicker .

In the long run if you join today , it will be couple of years or more before you are actually inducted into IndiGo .

Another thing you have to note is that while IndiGo does have many airplanes on order , the final decision to import the aircraft lies in the hands of the Civil Aviation Minister ( yes one single man alone )

And this year he only allowed them to import 5 out the 16 aircraft they wanted . I believe he wants more details as to where they plan on flying the other aircraft before allowing them to import any further .

For the sake of all the unemployed CPL holders , LOI holders , Cadets or other wise I seriously hope they and every other airline continue to be allowed to import aircraft as per they see fit according to their business needs .


If you think I have my facts or assumptions wrong please feel free to correct them

Last edited by cyrilroy21; 23rd Jan 2013 at 06:50.
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 14:53
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 153

Excellent writeup cyril. You have a detailed knowledge of US & India & enough maturity as a person that it reflects in almost every post of yours.

This discussion should help a lot of youngsters by atleast providing them a detailed insight of what their options could be. Of course, only if they use the search feature in this forum, instead of just posting a new question each time.

My knowledge of India is old & while I am in the process of renewing my knowledge of Indian aviation scenario, I have learnt that nothing much has changed in India in 15 yrs.

You are very right, there is a lot of struggle to become a pilot & while every one works towards the same goals, the results are different for everyone. It all about Just being at the right place at the right time......

Now for this guy looking to commit so much money to NFTI & basically placing all his eggs in one basket, I personally did not like the NFTI program for only one reason, it is VERRY expensive & there is NO guarantee. It is not even a confirmed job offer subject succesfully completing training & A320 Type rating from CAE, an institute which Indigo endorses. It is just an LOI & that LOI is not worth anything if 2, 3 or 5 yrs down the lane, Indigo is sold to someone else or something happens to Indigo.

Look at KF, Deccan, Damania, Modiluft, East-West.... At one time they were all very succesfull....

As far as the Instructor route..... By doing the Flight Instructor route, even if one is never allowed to work as a paid flight instructor in USA, it will have many benfits.

# 1) It will make that individual a better Pilot. GUARANTEED
# 2) The amount of hours will increase even if he can fly with some guy in US who owns his plane & just needs a safety pilot to come along for personal comfort. If someone wants a BFR or practise instrument approaches, you can help him gain proficiency & log flying time & maintain your own proficiency. There are so many of those here......
# 3) The flying training in US is much cheaper as compared to India, AUS, NZ or Canada & the quality of training is definitley equal if not better. It is definitely better than India except Igrua. Flying through class B & C airspaces, taking a small 172 into Orlando International or Dallas class B or Vancouver airspace, that experience is priceless.

There are so many people in US who own their planes, both single & multi engine & they will let you fly with them & you can log PIC if you help them out with fuel costs.

Why pay 5-10 lacs for a Caravan endorseent & sit as a FO in those for years when you can fly & earn experience as PIC.

There are so many pc-12's & caravans, Cessna 310, 402/404's, Barons, Seneca, King Air, Apache, Aztec, you name it, they are all over the place. just fly for 5 - 10 hrs & get it endorsed on Indian CPL.

I personally met a guy who owns a Baron-58 & flies it all over the place. He said I could come & fly with him as much as I want. My work & location did not permit that but the point being, they are all over...

But no one will let you touch their plane at 250 hrs, you need to have more experience & CFI is a guranteed way of earning time.

OR the person can look towards getting a Canadian CPL, which is very easy after US cpl & get a CFI rating in Canada. Getting a work permit in Canada is relatively easy. Same works for NZ flight training. Relatively easy to get a residency there.

The point I am trying to make is there are options out there if ones looks for them.....

The traditional way of just doing a CPL & coming to India to fly a 320 or 737, those days are gone. Those days may come back but it will be a while before that happens.... I understand everyone wants to fly the boeing or airbus right out of training, stay is nice hotels & flirt with good looking FA's. There is nothing worng with that. That time will also come eventually.

But, that is the one of the reason so many trainee pilots are sitting in India free & idle. They will not even try to think outside the box, try to go anywhere else to try their luck or make their destiny. Most of them take years to clear the DGCA exam, have not flown in 2 or 3 or even 5 yrs. A lot of them will eventually leave aviation & flying & be bitter about it.

Either way one looks at it, there is no easy path in aviation.

Now, It is a personal choice if one wants to live in India & wait for the rain to happen to quench his thirst or go where the water is & satisfy the thirst............

This is one profession where one has to struggle & work very hard and only the best & lucky few manage to reach the finish line.

Best of luck to all....

Last edited by pilotbaba; 23rd Jan 2013 at 15:17.
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 16:18
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Right on the money
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Slight correction fella's.

Don't even dream of getting a job in NZ and OZ with 250hrs.

NZ is over crowded with CPL holders and I can guarantee that immigration wont give you a work visa with the excessive CPL holders running around. Forget visa, you wont even get a job offer in the first place as like everywhere else locals are given priority. Too small country with too many CPL's.

Australia..this is where the excess from NZ flows out to an extent. Same story here. No luck for rookies. You need like 1000's of hours even for a turbo prop job.

Indonesia would've been an option...but recently they are also into locals.

Africa would be your wildest bet..but do check out the prospectus in the African Aviation. Not that great now-a-days.

From my personal experience, Indonesian's and the African's prefer the Europeans over the curry munchers!!

Sorry for the drift, but back to topic.

Another good option that works in India is if daddy got money, go buy your seat at the pointy end
Said method works with all airlines inc AI. The right contact and 35 Lacs is all you need to get set.
niksmathew24 is offline  
Old 15th Jul 2013, 17:33
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: DELHI
Posts: 1

The complete issue has been Very aptly explained, I must compliment you for the same...want to become a Pilot go join Indian Airforce & chase your dream don`t put your parents under wishes..
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 05:41
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: frying pan
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check PM
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Old 21st Jan 2014, 15:06
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Chandigarh
Age: 35
Posts: 1
Indigo program admission

Well if you have a good source, it might not only help u in getting admission bt also getting a job secure after flying
Anyone experienced it?
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 14:55
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: India
Posts: 1
guys m new to PPR,I have given the Cadet program entrance exam twice now (8th Dec 13&2nd FEB 14)both times i got stuck up in the 1st phase Written exam 70% is the pass mark..... every 1 keep sayin its a waste of money of time but lets face it guys no 1 else is even offerin a LOI if u get though the entrance CASS GD and PI ur given a LOI a stiffen of rs 16k/month till ur cpl nd 25k/month during ur type m a trainee pilot and this the only option I have where at least I have a chance and LOI in hand and if all goes well i end up with a 5 year contract with IndiGo.....i believe IndiGo is not stupid enough to pay stiffen and say sorry dude I dont need u....last I checked the fee for both the regular program nd the cadet program at NFTI is the same so I feel its a fair enough deal u get back the 60L u spend by the end of 5 years and u hav 3000-3500 on type on ur resume.....correct me if m worng no offence jus my thought

Last edited by cashtheblackjack; 2nd May 2014 at 12:46.
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Old 20th Feb 2014, 16:03
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Mumbai, MH, INDIA
Age: 28
Posts: 1
syllabus for the Indigo Cadet Program Entrance exams

@CF680E1 and all the others gone through the Indigo Cadet Program

- Can you guys please tell the syllabus for the Indigo Cadet Program "Entrance Exams"
- Books to be studied for the entrance exams
- The fees for giving the entrance exams
- Centers of the entrance exams

Will be eagerly waiting for your replies to all these above questions.
capt_sid368 is offline  
Old 19th May 2015, 08:13
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2015
Location: India
Posts: 37
Originally Posted by Avgeek_KD View Post
is indigo in a contract with CAE gondia ? if so then how many more years will the indigo cadet program be there ?
The contract was of 5 years which they signed in 2011.
AA350XWB is offline  
Old 21st Aug 2015, 07:49
  #18 (permalink)  
Swati Anand
Posts: n/a
Indigo OR Abroad

I have recently completed my 12th standard and i want to start my training as a pilot. i am very confused as to weather i should join indigo's cadet program or go to either U.S. or Philippines to train. The officials at DGCA highly recommend Indigo cadet program but when i came to this portal i read lots of bad comments about it. can someone pls help me? im really confused right now.
Old 22nd Aug 2015, 11:24
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Cochin VOCI , India
Age: 32
Posts: 1,610

Other than the fact that IndiGo Cadet Pilot program is very expensive there is nothing wrong with the program

A job offer before starting training is way better than training to be a pilot and then struggling with the rest of the unemployed pilots in India for a job . In most cases its a big struggle to even get called for the job...

In such a scenario cadet pilot programs are the way to go especially given that IndiGo has a very good track record of honouring its offers to hire it cadet pilots
cyrilroy21 is offline  
Old 22nd Sep 2015, 05:56
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 1
Smile Syllabus for Indigo Cadet Program Entrance exams

Everyone who has gone through the Indigo Cadet Program

- Can you guys please tell the syllabus for the Indigo Cadet Program "Entrance Exams"
- Books to be studied for the entrance exams.

Because it's really confusing, from where to prepare for the entrance.

- would the physics be of JEE level ?
- would the quant be of CAT level ?

Please post your comments around this area. It would be of great help.
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