It's boom time in small towns

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PLAYING HOST IN THE SKY: Students have new career options in the aviation industry.
PLAYING HOST IN THE SKY: Students have new career options in the aviation industry.

The aviation sector is now focussing on cities and towns other than the metros and opportunities are opening up there for ambitious youth

Airlines are gearing up to leverage the ever-increasing air traffic in their own smart way. They are increasing the number of flights and targeting small towns as new airport hubs. These are not necessarily reflected in the newspapers but are still very much a part of the real strategic intent behind today's progressive and dynamic airline players. An underlying current that is mostly missed and overlooked is the plethora of opportunities coming up for the students from these towns. The students have new career options in the aviation industry. Ishmit Dhadial from Dehradun gave up her dream of becoming a doctor and opted to be an airhostess instead. She now flies with Jet Airways and has no regrets about her choice. The story is the same for Dibyajyoti Chakraborty from Guwahati, a flight attendant with Air Sahara. Initially his family was apprehensive, because it was unheard of in a city like Guwahati for a boy to opt for this career. Besides, no one knew of anyone who had taken up this profession, especially a man.Unlike a few years ago, girls from towns such as Rishikesh, Hardwar, Ludhiana, Karnal, Raipur and Siliguri are opting to become air hostesses and even their families are encouraging them. Had it been the 90s, the parents would invariably have put their foot down. That mindset has changed considerably now. With growing awareness among the youth and their parents and the increasing respect for newer and greener pastures, these small town students are embracing the aviation profession with open arms. It is no more considered a glamorous profession meant only for metro-bred youth.The story is no different in Kochi, Mangalore, Salem, Tirupati, Kozhikode, Belgaum etc in the south. These cities are also witnessing a similar robust growth in terms of infrastructure. The students from these places are becoming pilots, airhostesses and flight stewards and also taking up various ground duties. They lead a high-flying lifestyle, with lots of glamour and money. They get to travel and meet celebrities. The starting salary is Rs. 25,000 plus per month in the domestic sector. With more and more youngsters from small towns opting for this field, training institutes are expanding their operations. Airlines hold interviews in small towns for cabin crew. Emirates, for example, held interviews recently in Lucknow, besides Delhi and other metros. Small-town India is really flying high.SAPNA GUPTA

(Founder and Chief Consultant, Air Hostess Academy)



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