The aviation sector in India, ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, is slowly showing signs of revival, with airlines, buoyed by a boost in passenger footfall, calling for more recruitments.
One international carrier and multiple domestic airlines have announced vacancies for several posts, primarily for cockpit and cabin crew, over the past few days.
‘Pilots, cabin crew, MBAs needed’
Air India is conducting walk-in interviews for cabin crew across Indian cities including Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Guwahati and Goa. It is also hiring senior trainee pilots for its Airbus A320 fleet and pilots for Boeing 777 planes, while also looking for MBA graduates for other verticals including airport operations, customer experience, engineering, finance, human resources and technology and product.
IndiGo, India’s biggest airline, which laid off over 2,000 employees during the pandemic, is recruiting cabin crew for ATR and A320 aircraft through interviews in Gurugram, Bengaluru and Kolkata.
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AirAsia recently conducted recruitment drives in Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune and Lucknow to hire cabin crew while Vistara held the same in Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Qatar Airways’ call
This apart, international carrier Qatar Airways has called for applications from aspiring employees for roles in culinary, corporate, commercial, management, cargo, customer service, engineering, flight operations and ground services.
“We are committed to bolstering our team and further strengthening the customer experience for travellers, while we boost our operational capabilities by seeking the right people. Qatar Airways has always had a special bond with India and with this recruitment driver, we are further solidifying our commitment to the market,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al said in a statement.
The airline has said that it will accept applications from Indian citizens for various roles from September 16 onwards.
The group is looking at hiring staff for its various divisions including Qatar Airways, Qatar Duty-Free, Qatar Aviation Services, Qatar Airways Catering Company, and Qatar Distribution Company to the Dhiafatina Hotels.
The hiring spree is indicative of a boost in business for the aviation sector. While Indian airlines, according to ICRA, recorded a year-on-year growth of 57.7 per cent in domestic passenger traffic for 2021-22, industry experts say the growth will see an upward trend during the upcoming festive season.
The development is a stark, yet welcome deviation from the trend of layoffs, pay cuts, furloughs and uncertainty over jobs that plagued airlines and its staff over the past two years.
While all scheduled domestic and international flights were suspended from March 23 and 24 of 2020 respectively in view of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, scheduled domestic flights were restarted in a guarded manner from May 25. The government ran special flights to 24 countries under the Vande Bharat Mission from May even though scheduled international flights remained suspended.
IndiGo, the biggest airlines of the country, suffered a loss of ₹2,884 crore and ₹1,194 crore in the Q1 and Q2 of the 2020-21 fiscal respectively, while the net loss for SpcieJet was ₹600 crore in Q1 and ₹112 crore in Q2.
The situation also delayed the submission of bid for Air India – 60 per cent of whose revenue is dependent on international operations – at least five times.
In July 2020, just after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, IndiGo laid off over 2,300 employees, which is 10 per cent of its workforce.
A reduced workforce translated into delayed take offs and landings, repeated occurrence of technical glitches, causing delays and diversions of flights; and fall in quality of passenger service – all of which were seen this year.
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SpiceJet itself has reported over nine incidents of flight malfunctioning in July this year.
Recently, passengers of a SpiceJet’s Hyderabad-Delhi flight were stranded on the tarmac for a good 45 minutes in the night after the airlines failed to provide them buses to reach the airport.
After conducting an audit of airlines following the delays and glitches the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had found that it was caused due to insufficient and unqualified engineering personnel who are currently certifying carrier planes before their departure.