State-owned carrier Air India has said it will employ more than 1,500 cabin crew and about 500 pilots by 2019 to meet the carrier's expanding fleet.
According to the airline officials, as many as 150 captains will complete their training by December this year and will start flying on various routes.
"We are planning to have 700 more pilots in the next two to three years keeping in view the fleet expansion. From last August till now, we have already recruited 250 pilots. So about 500 more pilots we are going to recruit. Advertisement for 400 pilots has already been floated," N Sivaramakirshnan, Air India's General Manager (Operations) told Press Trust of India.
In 2015, Air India had planned to hire about 200 trainee pilots. However, only 78 of those completed their training. According to Sivaramakirshnan, Air India has about 858 pilots. The loss-making airline has lost around 100 pilots to other airlines since 2014.
Air India has three Airbus simulators in Hyderabad and four Boeing simulators in Mumbai. "We are planning to order one more simulator for training on ATR aircraft in Hyderabad. The Request for Information (RFI) has already been floated. By January next year we hope that it would be operational," Sivaramakirshnan added.
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing will deliver two Dreamliner aircraft to Air India by the end of this year. In addition, four more Dreamliners will be added to the state-owned carrier's fleet next year.
"The delivery of Dreamliners starts in November this year. Its delivery is on schedule. First plane in November and the next in December. Four more in 2017," Dinesh Keskar, Boeing's senior Vice President (Asia Pacific and India) said in a statement.
Domestic air carriers such as IndiGo, Air India, SpiceJet, Jet Airways and Go Air flew 79.75 lakh passengers in June this year, a growth of 20 percent over 66.01 lakh who flew in June 2015.
State-run carrier Air India saw its market share go down to 15.5 percent from 15.6 percent in May.