Since when aviation industry saw a boom in india, aviation market never remained stable. By the year 2006 we saw various airlines establishing themselves in Indian market. Those days only Air India, Jet Airways and Indian Airlines were market player. Limited number of operators gave a huge benefit to Jet Airways as it was preferred airline over Air India and Indian Airlines. While in first decade of 21st century, India saw a never seen boom in travel industry. Air Sahara, Air Deccan, Kingfisher Airlines were aggressive players while Indigo Airlines, Go Airlines, Spicejet started with gentle steps.

Growth of private operators caused serious trouble to Air India and Indian Airlines. As private airlines were focused on quality of travel it was becoming very difficult for government carrier to give efficient results. To overcome this problem ministry of civil aviation of India decided to merge Air India and Indian Airlines. Merger of two airlines is never easy but govt did not have option. This merger helped private carriers to grow with acceleration. In this period Kingfisher Airlines emerged as top grosser and expanded aggressively. KFA bought Air Deccan to so that they can use foreign operation license of Deccan for Kingfisher flights. This was a bad decision which caused downfall of Kingfisher Airlines. Everyone knows rest story how Kingfisher fell from top spot to closed airline. According to me Kingfisher was a serious reason for boom in Indian aviation and also a huge recession. It was same time when Kingfisher was falling down and heavy number of pilots were finishing their training. kingfisher fall caused huge number of unemployment in India pilots. I am one of them. But now good thing is now KFA is closed and rest other airlines are learning from KFA’s mistakes.

Downfall of KFA was a game-changer for Indigo Airlines. Today Indigo is top grosser in market. Go Air is catching up fast. Go Air went slow and steady in first five years. They did not expand aggressively like Indigo and KFA. Air India is recovering well after receiving Dreamliner aircrafts.

Last year I was selected for A320 training at Air India. It was a wise decision for me to invest 30lakh rupee for this training. Before joining training at Air India i sat down and made some analysis. I knew Airbus has a huge future in India, Go Air will expand with its 72 Airbus A320neo, Indigo is already expanding aggressively and Air India has a shortage of pilots on A320s. Every analysis was in favour of Airbus. I believed in myself and started training at Air India.

Now i am A320 type rated and i see huge demand for A320 pilots in 2013-2015. This is strongly possible because of new player- AirAsia India and other airlines operating Airbus A320 expanding strongly. I don’t focus on Boeing operating airlines as it is not my interest. I have done analysis for each A320 operating airline as follows

Indigo Airlines:

In 2013 Indigo will be inducting 16 new aircrafts out of which 8 been been delivered. For one aircraft airline need 16 pilots. So for these 8 aircrafts Indigo will need 128 pilots out of which 64 will be first-officers. Indigo recruits both Type rated pilots and CPL+ Multi rated pilots. Hiring CPL+Multi pilot is beneficial for Indigo as they get pilot training cost from Airbus to train at CAE. this earns Indigo a extra revenue.

So out of those 64 required first officers, i believe Indigo will induct 30 CPL+Multi pilots and 30 Type rated pilots. It is also believed that many pilots will leave Indigo to join AirAsia India. This will create huge amount of vacancy. According to me by Sept-Oct Indigo will conduct A320 type rated exam. 

Go Airlines:

Go is expanding slowly. Four aircrafts will be delivered by December 2013. So they will require 32 first officers by 2013 end. Many of Go Air pilots will be joining AirAsia India which will cause problems to Go Air. To cope up with that, Go Air will need to hire pilots to stay in market. I believe Go Air will conduct A320 type rated exam by Sept-Oct 2013. 

Air India:

Very few are observing Air India and its expansion plans. With induction of new 787s Air India is making profit and expanding aggressively. After Dharmadhikari Report Air India had to shift few A320 pilots to 787. By now 5 787s are delivered out of 27. With every 787 more A320 pilots will be shifting to Boeing. Air India also has A330 aircrafts, recently few pilots were shifted to A330 from A320. These are very good signs for A320 type rated pilots. Specially for me and my batch-mates at Air India. As we are trained at Air India, it will be easy for Air India to send us for induction training. I strongly believe by November 2013 Air India will be heavily recruit A320 type rated pilots. It is unlikely that Air India will recruit CPL+Multi pilots. Air India management has taken a decision that- if anyone who is joining Air India has to get trained at CTE,Air India. The training will be self sponsored. And now basic aircraft at Air India is A320. Whoever joins Air India, will have to fly A320 and from there he/she will be shifted to higher aircrafts according to seniority. As i was doing training at Air India, i came to know some of these inside news.

AirAsia India:

AirAsia India is already aggressive since it was announced. It has hired some big shots and will be expanding very fast. According to speculations it is believed that AirAsia India will starts operations by November 2013 and will bring one aircraft every month. It will start with 4 aircrafts. AirAsia will need ten pilots per aircraft which means they will need 5 first officers every month. It is likely that AirAsia will hire A320 type rated pilots as soon as theystart operations. I believe AirAsia India will have A320 type rated exam in October 2013. And they will repeatedly recruit till end of 2014. As it is new airline, they will need type rated pilots so that pilots can start line flying without delay. As AirAsia gets established in India, they may start cadet programme by 2015. It is hard to say how many vacancies AirAsia will bring but my analysis says they will hire 30-40 first officers within Nov 2013-April 2014.

2013 saw a positive market in indian aviation. There will be high number of pilot recruitment in recent time. As Jet Airways conducted exam recently, now it will be Go Air, Air India, Indigo and AirAsia who will be having exams. Preferably for A320 type rated pilots. 


19 thoughts on “My analysis for A320 type rated pilot recruitment

  1. Dear sir, my name is s.thiru Siva pandi, now I am studying in B.E aeronautical engineering final year student…my ambition is airline pilot..but my family is very poorly…so I am willing to join your free sponsorship pilot please accept me sir…thank you.!


    1. Dear S.Thiru Siva Pandi, in India every state government offers scholarship for pilot training candidates who are below poverty line. You must apply for same.
      All the best for BE Final year. Cheers


    1. Dear Mukul, undergoing Type rating is a big risk at this moment. But if u really wish to do it, make sure u find well reputed training centre. Only type rated stamp on Cpl does not matter. What matters is what knowledge you get while learning it.


  2. hello sir, i am currently in my 12th…planning to be a pilot i want to join the indigo cadetprogram gondia….do u know how many people get jobs form the selected candidates…..and sir i also havea doubt … sgpt and sgot levels are a little high due to fatty liver….but i am sure i can bring it back to normal….is pilot training a good idea? pls reply


    1. I advice you to reduce your fat levels before joining pilot training. Its always better to be on safer side. It is a good profession if you are financially stable and have lots of patience. Lots of patience because in India we have have huge supply of pilots as compared to much less demand.


  3. hello sir,
    im currently in doing and want to persue in aviaion industry. i want to become a pilot as i’m aspiring since 4 years and i really wish to enter into cae oxford academy for indigo ab initio cadet pilot programme. please give some guidance and a path through which i can achieve my aim .
    thank you . An eraly response will be appreciated .


    1. Hello. Sorry for late reply. CAE is a better choice these days. It is very expensive though. Keep in mind present unemployment scenario and your financial condition before getting into flying training.


  4. Hello sir, can please highlight me over the cae global acdemy gondia indigo cadet pilot programme and is it worth taking it as I have come across alot of reviews about it of which some are positive as well as negative or is it better to get yourself trained in igrua. Please help me out sir. Looking ahead for your reply.

    12th student.


  5. Dear Nimish,

    That was a very good article. What i appreciate more is the fact that you take time to reply for all queries.

    Could you tell me a bit more about the CAE INDIGO cadet program ? Is reference required to get in ? How transparent is the process ?

    thanks in advance,



    1. Well, I think the process is transparent. CAE is better option these days but it is very expensive. Once you are selected for CAE indigo cadetship, you get letter of intent from IndiGo. Go ahead.


  6. And what about recruitment in other airlines? How frequently do they recruit and how is the recruitment process? Will there be an exam? (only in that case will I be able to stick out as I don’t have any reference /influence)

    And if I don’t have a type rating, how bad is it?

    What was the air India type rating that you were telling about and how to get that?

    What would be your Frank advice to a 26yr old guy (me), an engineer in an airline, with zero reference, around 25-30lakhs in hand, and very very passionate about flying? If I get a fair platform, I’m confident that I will perform. I’m ready to work hard for it. But is there at least a 5% chance to get a fair platform?


  7. Hello Nimish,

    Fantastic insights of the industry in your article, I sure am reading this well after when it was written but I couldn’t continue flight training in USA due to flight school filing bankruptcy, resulting in me losing all the money. (I could only finish 90+ hrs)

    I would like your guidance that should I get back into getting CPL completed? Any feedback would be highly appreciated.

    Wishing you luck with your stint at IndiGo.


    1. Hello Bhavik,
      sorry for late reply. I definitely think you should get back to flying ( i hope you must have by now). In next decade, India and China will see exponential boom in aviation sector. This means more aircraft and more jobs.
      As you know getting hired as pilots requires extreme hard-work and dedication. I suggest you to resume flying and study hard.
      All the best


  8. Hello Nimish,

    Very well said… i am reading this after a long time this was written.. here are few questions that i need help with:

    I am going through my Pilot Training now.. will get my CPL in 2017. How good you think the airlines market will be then in 2017? especially hiring new pilots?

    can you please suggest few better Type rating(most probably A320) institutions in India?

    I also heard from pilots in present airline industries that companies in India are asking for huge amounts of money upfront while signing the contract as part of trainee pilots recruitment. Is this true? If so why is that happening?

    Any other suggestions will be very much appreciated!


  9. Hello Pankaj,
    I guess you must have completed pilot training by now.
    Airliner market right now is very competitive. Every airline wants to expand and fly new routes. Every airline has pending aircraft orders. This means more demand for pilots.
    There are few type rating institutes in India which are really good. CAE Bangalore, CAE Noida, FSTC Gurgaon are good options.
    I advice you to also consider ATR 72-600 and Bombardier Q400 for type rating.


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