Air India Express to fly to SAARC capitals

Air India Express (AIE) plans to operate flights to the capitals of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries and to new destinations in the Gulf. Besides India, the other SAARC nations are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

At present, the low-cost carrier operates flights to all the cities in the Gulf, except Saudi Arabia. Its services have come as a big relief to non-resident Keralites in these countries.

In view of the new services, the airline has started recruiting more cockpit crew members. “The focus is on the operational bases of the AIE in the State — Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode — and in adjoining Mangalore. The recruitment will also be for taking care of the future needs of the airline in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai, and the augmentation of the fleet,” an airline spokesman told The Hindu.

The airline has invited applications for pilots and co-pilots, and the last date for submission of the application forms is July 15.

The AIE, which recently shifted its headquarters from Mumbai to Kochi, operates 70 per cent of the flights from Kerala with Boeing 737-800. The recruitment of the cockpit crew follows that of cabin crew — to address the shortage — through a walk-in interview in October last and early this year. It also comes at a time when the Rs.110-crore Boeing 737-800 maintenance base in the vicinity of the new world-class terminal at the Thiruvananthapruam airport is getting ready for commissioning.

Of the 500-odd employees on the AIE's payrolls, nearly 200 are cabin crew members and 150 cockpit crew members. The carrier has 22 aircraft, all Boeing 737-800. Of them, 17 are operated in the Kerala region comprising the Mangalore, Kozhikode, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram airports.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 11:50:50 PM |

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