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As Jet Airways nosedives, IndiGo tries to poach its pilots into its own fold

PW Bureau

IndiGo, India’s biggest airline, is in need of senior pilots as it is expanding rapidly, adding one aircraft at least each week

Mumbai: A recruitment drive for senior pilots, held by IndiGo, India’s biggest airline last Friday, witnessed a large representation from Jet Airways, two pilots who attended the event said. As a result of rising fuel costs and intense competition, Jet, India’s biggest full-service carrier by market share, has been grappling with financial woes for many months and owes money to banks, pilots, vendors and lessors.

With rapid expansion, IndiGo is in need of pilots

One of the Airbus SE’s biggest customers in the world, IndiGo will begin its first flight to Europe (Istanbul) soon. The carrier is in need of senior pilots as it is expanding rapidly, adding one aircraft at least each week.

Compensation for pilots with overdue salaries

IndiGo has even offered compensation for overdue salaries to senior pilots, especially those from Jet Airways. IndiGo also received a strong turnout in a similar recruitment drive last week.

The candidates who were selected were given on-the-spot offers to work with IndiGo, while being reassured that their salaries will be credited on time, a pilot said.

“The offers made by IndiGo are quite good, and include various compensation for overdue salaries (up to two to three months of basic salary) on joining the airline," said a senior Jet Airways pilot.

Another pilot, with over five years of experience with Jet Airways, said many of his peers attended the event to consider their available options.

“Jet Airways is one of the better paymasters in the industry. However, the recent salary delays have forced many pilots to dip into their savings. So, when an opportunity like this presents, there’s no harm in checking out offers from other airlines (like IndiGo)," said the pilot.

No IndiGo spokesperson has made any comment on the recruitment events.