Airlines start hiring as travel demand soars after pandemic

As travel demand surges in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, airline recruitment in India is taking off for roles that include cabin crew and pilots.

Carriers like Air India, IndiGo, Vistara and AirAsia India are conducting new recruitment campaigns to hire cabin crew members at several stations across the country.

Additionally, among foreign carriers, Qatar Airways Group has also announced the onboarding of a “significant number” of new Indian employees in roles such as Kitchen, Corporate and Commerce, Management, Cargo, customer service, engineering, flight operations, ground services, etc.

Air India is conducting walk-in interviews with cabin crew in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Guwahati and Goa. The airline is also hiring senior trainee pilots for its Airbus A320 fleet and experienced pilots for the Boeing 777 planes, which Air India flies in the United States.

Its sister airline AirAsia India conducted a cabin crew recruitment campaign at Gurugram for the National Capital Region of Delhi last week. AirAsia India has also conducted such hiring drives for cabin crew recently in Delhi, Dehradun, Lucknow, Bengaluru and Pune.

This comes following an increase in the number of passengers. A report released last week by ratings agency ICRA highlighted that Indian carriers recorded a 57.7% year-on-year growth in domestic passenger traffic to 84.2 million for 2021-22. (April-March), thanks to the “rapid pace of vaccination, a lower incidence of fresh Covid infections, coupled with the drop in intensity of infection”.

India’s largest airline, IndiGo, has held cabin crew recruitment events for its ATR fleet in Bengaluru, Gurugram, Kolkata, Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Chandigarh. It is also holding hiring events for its Airbus fleet cabin crew in Delhi, Mumbai, Bagdogra, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kolkata, Dimapur, among several other stations next week.

Vistara, which operates Airbus A320s, A321s and Boeing 787s, recently conducted cabin crew recruitment programs in Mumbai and Bangalore.

The Indian aviation sector has recently witnessed an increase in hiring due to the arrival of new airlines. Akasa Air recently launched operations and flies from stops such as Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru, while Jet Airways also plans to resume operations.

In response to a question in Lok Sabha on March 31 this year, Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh noted that the total job losses in airlines, airports, ground handling and the air cargo sector between March 31, 2020 and December 31, 2021 was approximately 19,200, or 10% of the total workforce in these sectors. “The government has held discussions with industry participants and stakeholders to address the challenges facing the industry,” he said.

He said the total number of airline employees in India had increased from around 74,800 as of March 31, 2020 to around 65,600 as of December 31, 2021.

Qatar Airways Group, which is preparing for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, will hold recruitment campaigns in Delhi on September 16-17 and in Mumbai on September 29-30. Akbar Al Baker, Director, said, “We are committed to strengthening our team and further enhancing the customer experience for travelers, while strengthening our operational capabilities by finding the right people. Qatar Airways has always had a special connection with India and with this recruitment campaign we are further strengthening our commitment to the market.

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