India’s biggest air-carrier by market share, IndiGo, plans to hire 100 expatriate pilots this year. A shortage of pilots and flight commanders has forced Indigo to cancel flights. The hiring is expected to increase staff costs for the airline. With a basic salary of $13,000 on average, expat pilots in India command salary premiums of up to 35%over their Indian peers. The carrier has more than 200 aircrafts and a pilot strength of over 3,000 including over 1,200 commanders. The airline cancelled 49 flights on Wednesday and will be cancelling 30 of its daily 1,300 flights everyday this month.
IndiGo, India’s largest airline by market share, will curtail 30 flights each day for the remainder of the February month and adjust crew rosters following a severe shortage of pilots. The airline, run by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, cancelled 49 flights on Wednesday. With this, IndiGo has cancelled about 100 flights since Friday. IndiGo currently operates about 1,300 daily flights. The 30 flights comprised 2% of IndiGo’s total flights. The airline expects to resume normal operations with the start of the summer schedule from 31 March. India had about 7,963 commercial pilots at the end of FY18.
Indigo will further cancel 32 flights on Monday as it continues to face shortage of pilots and commanders. The country's largest airline has cancelled flights from Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, the source in the aviation industry said. The carrier cancelled around 15 flights on Saturday and around seven on Sunday, officials at the Delhi airport said. Operations at the Delhi airport saw massive disruption on February 7 as a total of 36 flights were diverted due to severe rain and hailstorm in the national capital.
InterGlobe Aviation, parent of IndiGo, Wednesday reported a 75% fall in net profit at Rs 190.9 crore in the December 2018 quarter due to high fuel prices and currency depreciation. The airline had a profit after tax of Rs 762 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. The carrier's total income rose over 28% to Rs 8,229.4 crore in the December quarter as against Rs 6,409 crore in the year-ago period.
InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, owner of India's biggest airline by market share IndiGo, on Thursday appointed Ronojoy Dutta as chief executive officer (CEO) for five years, according to agency reports. Dutta had earlier served as a United Airlines executive and Air Sahara's president. The company also approved the appointment of Meleveetil Damodaran as chairman. Both appointments are effective January 24, InterGlobe said.