Glut Of New Pilots In India

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Yes, you read that right. As international organizations sound the alarm over a worldwide pilot shortage, as regional airlines in the U.S. and Australia cut routes because they lack cockpit crews and as airlines the world over shamelessly poach pilots from competitors, young pilots in India say there’s just too many of them. "Things are going from bad to worse," Gautam Singh, who’s been in the right seat of a budget carrier’s aircraft for 18 months, told The Times of India "But if I leave, there are 10 freshers waiting to take my place."

It seems that a lot of young Indians heeded the call of the airlines in recent years and went to Canada and the U.S. for training only to return and find out that the shortage applied to left-seaters and not them. Faced with a surplus of first officers, the budget airlines began cutting pay, flight hours and even started putting first officers and cabin crew in cheaper hotels than the captains. "That's humiliating," said another first officer, Nishant Gupta. "And that's because the demand for us has gone down. I don't mind getting less salary, but treat me with respect.”