Dhaka: AirAsia India launched the country’s first cadet-pilot programme on June 18 and now the carrier is ready to send its first batch of 15 cadets to New Zealand for flight training.
The launch of the pilot programme follows the acknowledgement of needing 10,000 new pilots by 2030 despite the current slump in the Indian domestic aviation market. India was ranked second globally by passenger volumes, among the fastest growing domestic markets for aviation. Meaning the demand for pilots will rise high in the future, even as the Kingfisher and Jet Airways pilots are being quickly taken by other airlines.
AirAsia India has partnered with New Zealand Academy and Harrison Omniview Consulting for the cadet-pilot project. As part of the 18-24 month course, selected candidates will be trained at the currently under-utilised Oamaru airport in New Zealand’s Waitaki district.
The first batch of the cadets will come out in 2021, informs AirAsia India’s Head of Operations, Capt Manish Uppal. Cadets earn their second officer rank and commercial pilot license after 500 hours of flying before graduating to first officer, senior first officer, and captain, in charge of the entire aircraft and crew.
Capt Manish Uppal, Head of Operations, AirAsia India informed that the first batch of the cadets will come out in 2021. Cadets earn their second officer rank and commercial pilot license after 500 hours of flying before graduating to first officer, senior first officer and captain, in charge of the entire aircraft and crew.
Uppal also said that 11 per cent of the airline’s crew is women. Most of the batch passing the cadet-pilot programme is expected to be hired by the airline.
Headquartered in Bengaluru, AirAsia India currently has a fleet of 21 Airbus-A320 aircraft covering 19 destinations across the country. The airline commenced operations in India on June 12.