Mon, Nov 10, 2008
Will Hire More Indian Pilots In Cost-Cutting
Employing nearly 780 Indian and 260 foreign pilots, Jet Airways
has developed a plan to reduce operational expenses by hiring more
Indian pilots and gradually phasing out foreign pilots. Foreign
pilots working for Jet currently earn almost twice as much as
In addition to 32 pilots laid off last week, Jet is considering
terminating 50 more foreign pilots by next month, while hiring 20
more Indian pilots. A senior Jet official confirmed the
cost-cutting moves, saying, "We will gradually replace foreign
pilots with Indian talent," especially on budget-sensitive
non-metro routes, the Economic Times said.
"We are already in talks with Turkish Airlines" for subleasing
four Boeing 777 aircraft with cabin and cockpit crew, the official
said. "If the agreement materializes, these foreign pilots will
continue with the company. Otherwise, they will be phased out."
"Foreign pilots charge a huge salary premium over Indian pilots.
The whole model of ATR demands cost control," an airline industry
analyst said, adding that the proposed replacement of the foreign
pilots makes sense on ATR routes, the money makers for Jet. The
operational costs for the 50- to 74-seat ATRs are 40% lower than
the larger Boeing and Airbus planes in their fleet.
Last month's announcement by Jet of an operational alliance with
Kingfisher Airlines would further reduce operating costs, and could
lead to a 40 percent reduction of capacity, further reducing the
number of needed pilots.
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