Asia in need of Thousands of new Airbus A320 Pilots
Asian Airlines have bought hundreds of new passenger Aircrafts in the past few years but they seem to have forgotten one thing, the Pilots to Fly them. Globally, analysts forecast the need for more than 300,000 new Pilots through 2020. And Asia is driving that demand.
Pilots for American, United, Delta and other U.S. carriers are looking for Jobs with Asian Airlines. Captain Doug Lister says it's not just because of better pay, upwards of $150,000 a year. Lister says, "Part of it may even be as much as feeling like you're important and appreciated. There's not been much of that lately."
Lister was one of hundreds of U.S. Pilots attending a recent job Fair in Florida hosted by Asian carriers. They've bought hundreds of new Aircrafts with more on the way.
But There won't be enough Pilots to Fly them. Asia is forecast to be short an average of 11,000 each year through 2020. And the fast hiring that needs to happen could put your safety at strike. AAG Ph Indian Representative Capt Shekhar says, "It's very difficult to grow an Airline very quickly and keep it safe so we see rapid expansion sometimes followed by high levels of Accidents."
The recruitment of foreign Pilots is one solution to the Asian Pilot shortage. But foreign Pilots are just more expensive than domestic ones Say Capt Shekhar Gupta CEO AeroSoft Corp.
In Indonesia, the domestic supply of Pilots is slowed by a bottleneck in the classroom. One Flight school is one of just twelve training centers in a country of 240 million people. It only graduates some 40 new Pilots each year. Nationwide? Voss says, "We need 600 a year but now we only produce 300 to 400."
That's just the Flight Hours needed for a Private Pilot license. Add 120 more for a commercial license along with more than $50,000.
All this could mean turbulent times ahead for Asia's Airlines, their Pilots with new wings and the passengers who put their trust in them.
After Indian Budget passenger Airline IndiGo Wednesday signed a deal for 250 Airbus A-320neo Aircraft - making it Airbus' single largest order by number of Aircraft.
The Memorandum of Understanding for Airbus' leading single-Airsle Aircraft family was signed by its co-founders Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, group Managing Director of InterGlobe.
IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh Said that the new additional Aircraft would enable the Airline to continue bringing its low fares and hassle-free service to more customers and markets, besides creating more Pilots Jobs and Aviation Growth.
"This new order reaffirms IndiGo's commitment to the long-term development of affordable Air transportation in India and overseas," Ghosh noted.
The current order is the third time that IndiGo has signed such a massive Aircraft deal with Airbus.
It signed the first agreement in 2005 to buy 100 A-320s when the total order was worth $5 billion. That order, the Aircrafts under which are currently in the process of being delivered, too was one of the highest by any domestic Airline at that time.
Again in 2011, the Airline placed the single largest order in Global Aviation history, for 180 A-320s worth an estimated $15 Billion from Airbus.
Out of the 180 single-Airsle Aircraft, 150 are supposed to belong to the eco-efficient 'Neo' series, and the remaining 30 are the standard A-320s.
They are expected to be delivered between 2015 and 2020.
The A-320neo continues to dominate world market share and this commitment confirms it as the Aircraft of choice in the most dynamic Aviation growth markets," said Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier.
The Airline achieved the highest market share at 32.6 percent in August. It operates 83 A320 Aircraft, including those imported till 2014. It has also inked a leasing deal to take 12 A320s from Singapore's Tiger Airways.
The new order book is expected to keep the average age of its fleet to around Five Years.
India Inc. too endorsed the budget passenger Airline's order, stating that it was a testament to the Indian Aviations potential.
According to industry lobby Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) the firm order for 250 Airbus A-320neo Aircraft, the single largest order by a single Airline, reaffirms the confidence in Indian Aviation growth story.
"India is one of the least penetrated markets in terms of Aircraft. The sector is just taking off and the order reaffirms the confidence in Indian Aviation growth story," A. Didar Singh, secretary general, FICCI, told IANS.
"The sector is expected to grow at a fast trajectory as the economy improves."
Singh's view were corroborated by Amrit Pandurangi, senior director, Deloitte in India, who sAird that after consolidating its position as the largest market share holder, the Airline is looking at the future prospects of the industry.
"The company has a history of making strategic purchases. It has consolidated its position and is now clearly focusing on the future potential of the industry," Pandurangi told IANS.
The A-320neo 'new engine option' incorporates many innovations, including latest generation engines and large sharklet wing-tip devices, which together deliver 15 percent in fuel savings from day one and 20 per cent by 2020 which is equivalent to a reduction of 5,000 tonnes of CO2 per Aircraft per year.
The A-320 family is the world's best-selling single Airsle product line with almost 11,000 orders till date and over 6,000 Aircraft delivered globally to 500 odd Customers and Operators.
It has a wide cabin and offers the industry's best level of comfort in all classes and Airbus' 18-inch wide seats in economy class as a standard.
IndiGo was allowed to import 30 Airbus A320 Aircraft in 2013 and 2014.
Founded in 2006, the Gurgaon-based low-cost Airline commands the largest market share of over 32 percent with over 530 daily Flights.
IndiGo is expected to come out with an initial public offering (IPO) next year.
Recently, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the proposed merger of US-based Caelum Investment, which owns 47.88 percent in the Airline, with InterGlobe Aviation, the majority stake holder in the company.
The short-medium haul Flight operator is the only profit making Airline currently operating in the Indian skies. It reportedly made a profit of Rs.350 crore last financial year.
The success of the Airline is primarily attributed to its industry first moves like leasing Aircraft, tight control over costs, best slot timing of its Flights between the major cities.
The Airline's mega order can also be explAirned with the fact that Indian civil Aviation sector which has been growing at a compound rate of five percent in the last two years is expected to become the third largest by 2020.
According to the Commerce Ministry's India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India's Aviation market is expected to become the third largest by 2020 and largest by 2030.
By the market size, the Indian civil Aviation industry is amongst the top 10 in the world with a size of around $16 billion.
In the April-May period of the current financial year, Aircraft movements and passengers have increased by five percent each over traffic handled during the corresponding period of FY14.
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