The DGCA approves Air India’s long-pending request. An Air India pilot will now be able to fly two types of aircraft. Previously, Air India trained just eight designated examiners to operate Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft. Four authorised examiners will be taught to fly 777s and four more will be trained to fly 787s.
However, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has officially approved Multi-Seat Flying (MSF), which essentially implies that the same pilot will be able to fly two types of aircraft and will require extensive training.
The carrier will benefit from the cross-utilization of existing pilots as it starts on ambitious international expansion aspirations. Air India now employs approximately 700 wide-body pilots.
The aviation regulator has informed Air India that each of the eight approved examiners must have 150 hours of flight time with at least 10 landings in order to operate the Boeing 777 and 787 separately.
Airlines in around 16 countries practise pilot cross-training.
Air India, which is owned by the Tata Group, employs approximately 1,825 pilots and is looking to hire more as it grows its operations.
Air India secured orders for 470 jets with Airbus and Boeing this month, including 70 wide-body planes.
The airline wants to quadruple its existing fleet of 113 planes in a few years by inducting new jets and refurbishing older planes as part of a larger revamp.
The airline will buy 220 planes from Boeing and 250 from Airbus.
Air India Ltd. aims to take delivery of six Airbus SE A350 jetliners by the end of this year. The airline has begun a $400 million upgrade project that will see all seats and in-flight entertainment systems replaced with cutting-edge technology.
Last month Air India Chief Executive Officer Campbell Wilson indicated that there will also be extensive modification in the design of the aircraft getting delivered to the carrier from 2026, making them a “fully Air India product”.
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