Indian aviation has, for long, been plagued by a dearth of pilots, which has hampered the fleet expansion plans of many airlines.
Between 2017 and 2019, hiring of pilots in India rose 88%, show official data from the ministry of civil aviation. However, this is not enough to meet the additional requirement of 17,000 pilots in the next 10 years, according to a 2019 report by the Sydney-based aviation market intelligence firm CAPA.
The issue came to the fore in February 2019 when the scarcity of pilots forced the country’s leading carrier, IndiGo, to cancel as many as 30 flights a day. It tried to make up for the shortfall by aggressively hiring expatriates.