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-   -   Pilot shortage bogs AI down (https://www.pprune.org/south-asia-far-east/503646-pilot-shortage-bogs-ai-down.html)

cyrilroy21 24th Dec 2012 23:10

Pilot shortage bogs AI down
Flight delays owing to shortage of pilots continued to plague Air India’s domestic fleet even as one of its two pilots’ union claimed that the airline requires 200 new pilots to operate smoothly.

Sources said the national carrier has been facing flight delays ranging from 30
minutes to an hour daily. On Sunday, lack of crew delayed a Riyadh-bound flight from Mumbai by 16 hours leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at the city airport.

Last month, the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) had sent several reminders to the airline management to hire 200 pilots citing the shortage but the recruitment process is yet to begin.

While 40 pilots operating narrow-bodied jets until four months ago were selected for training on the newly inducted Boeing 787 Dreamliner, only one has completed the training to operate flights without supervision.

“The airline is spending lakhs on training these pilots and nobody is being held accountable for their productivity. Most of the them are being paid without flying,” said a senior AI official, requesting anonymity.

According to the rules laid down by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), former narrow-bodied jet pilots have to complete 100 hours of flying on 787 under the supervision of trainer rank pilot because the Dreamliner is a twin aisle aircraft. Going by the current pace of training on 787, these pilots could be underutilised for another six months, said sources. Of the four 787s inducted by Air India, only one has been deployed on a long haul international route. As a result, these pilots would take take months to complete 100 hours of training.

Sources said flight delays would soar over the next two months as delays due to fog could add to the problem.

“Already, the airline is falling short of three to four commanders every day. The situation could worsen on days when flights get held up by fog,” said another AI official, requesting anonymity. AI spokesperson did not respond to HT’s calls.

Pilot shortage bogs AI down - Hindustan Times

captjns 25th Dec 2012 00:37

Oh well. AI EX is a product of their own situation as it comes to pilot recruitment, along with operations... or lack thereof.

superdunkaroos 25th Dec 2012 04:46

^What he said.

Just mismanagement.

kotakota 25th Dec 2012 06:12

I gave up with AI ages ago . I was contacted by Rishworth last year , and asked if I wanted to base in Dubai . I sure did want that , but it all faded away , I think they just wanted to refresh their records , and sure enough the offer to base in India soon cam through . And if you DO go to India , the usual obstacle course and ridiculous hurdles soon wear you down .
The old ' we need you but we don't want you ' soon rules again .

jetjockey696 2nd Jan 2013 06:58

Air India Cancels Singapore Flight, Passengers Stranded
As many as 260 passengers of a Singapore-bound Air India flight from the west Indian city of Mumbai were stranded after the airline cancelled it citing non-availability of cockpit crew.

The flight, which was scheduled to take-off at 0005 hrs on Wednesday, is now expected to depart for its destination on Wednesday night, Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted an Air India spokesperson as saying.

"The Mumbai-Singapore flight AI342 with 260 passengers on board was cancelled due to non-availability of commander. The flight will now leave for Singapore at midnight Wednesday," the spokesperson said.

Air India has provided hotel and other facilities to the stranded passengers, the airline said, adding that some of the passengers have been booked on other flights.

The airline is facing acute shortage of pilots, particularly commanders, as a good number of them have quit the carrier for better prospects.

Late last month, Air India's Mumbai-Riyadh flight was delayed by 20 hours, leading to chaos at the city airport. The airline had then attributed the inordinate delay to flight crew shortage.

B737NG 2nd Jan 2013 15:59

How many Pilots and what type do they need ? The Market is full, just pick them up. To do so you need to have a clue what to do! and there is where the problem starts.

Fly safe and land happy


tolip111111 3rd Jan 2013 08:13

The Singapore flight was cancelled , because the commander who is a senior pilot with AI who was to fly, was suspended a day before the flight for allegedly fudging simulator training hours. 2 senior jet airways pilots have also been suspended for the same reason because the Sim training took place at the Jet Airways A330 Sim Centre, which AI also use. Around 8 more people are under the vigil for their involvement in this malpractice. This matter came to light when one of the pilots undergoing the training blew the cover by anonymously reporting this to the Director AI and also the DGCA.

Another Sr Pilot from AI was removed from his position of GM - Operations as he was unable to arrange another crew, even after having prior knowledge of suspension of the Capt who was suppose to fly the flight to Singapore , causing inconvenience to the passengers.

Danywild 3rd Jan 2013 20:53

Sorry, but there is no shortage...
Only a training school and airline buzz...

TopTup 5th Jan 2013 02:45

Hilarious if not so pathetic.

AI, the DGCA and the entire aviation scene in India should be put down. We don't allow a donkey to suffer with a broken leg let the aviation community puts up with this rubbish. Give the entire putrid system a fresh start to allow the many, many professional local pilots in India the right to receive the proper and decent training and standards by and large they ask for and deserve. Rebuild an airline and industry around open transparent standards reflective of the laws that at present are so blatantly and flagrantly scoffed at via obsessive corruption, nepotism and most prevalent ignorant xenophobia.

AI, the various unions / guilds, student pilot wannabes, corrupt ministers and others in the press have been aggressively lobbying for years to get rid of the expat pilots. And now flights are cancelled due either a pilot shortage and/or fraudulent credentials and log books? What a joke.

The system and airline is embarrassingly and insultingly broken to all those who care to see it, but those at the helm behave like An Emperor with New Clothes.

Mr Angry from Purley 5th Jan 2013 09:24

100 hrs flying with a Trainer seems a bit step. The rest of the world completes a conversion which is normally sector based and away you go.
My experience of the DGCA (paperwork, FTL etc) is they are about 40 years out of date...............:\

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