Air carriers have embarked on an aggressive hiring strategy with plans to add over 5,000 jobs this year, as they get ready for the entry of a new player and look to operate larger number of flights in the coming months.

Having put in place its top leadership team, AirAsia India is conducting interviews and roadshows in different parts of the country to get the ground staff and cabin crew ahead of its proposed launch later this year.

In the meantime, existing players such as Jet Airways and IndiGo have stepped up their own hiring activities, while another domestic player SpiceJet is continuing with its regular recruitment drives, industry officials said.

The improving passenger traffic trends and the proposed entry of AirAsia are the main triggers for the stepped-up hiring activities among private carriers, the human resource head of a leading airline said.

At present, there are an estimated 60,000 employees with various domestic air carriers, about half of which are with various private airlines, and State-run Air India has close to 27,000 staff members.

The hiring activities at Air India are limited to recruitment of pilots.

Another senior industry executive said that AirAsia is mostly targeting staff members of the existing airlines, and not of those having worked with now-grounded Kingfisher Airlines.

As a result, vacancies are getting created at many of the existing airlines, he added.

“The year 2012 was bad for aviation, which saw a net addition of about 1,700 people, but 2013 will be a boom year and we will see a net addition of more than 3,500 people. Over the next three years, the growth in hiring will be between 100 per cent and 150 per cent,” CEO Rajesh Kumar said.

“Increasing liberalisation in aviation policies is leading to greater private sector participation and this is leading towards more job opportunities in India. Since last month, recruitment activity in aviation industry is on an upward trend. Also salary hike might be in double digit,” she added.