The flag carrier of India, Air India is in advanced talks with Airbus and L3Harris for establishing Pilot Training Facility in India. This facility is poised to be the largest ever in the Southeast Asian region.
Air India shake hands with Airbus
Air India is in advanced talks with French Aircraft Manufacturer, Airbus for setting up a pilot training facility in India. The proposed joint venture will put in a funding of Rs 3,500 crore in the facility. Both Airbus and Air India will hold 50 percent stake each. This facility is going to be one of the largest in the Asian region.
Initially, it will be equipped with 6 simulators. These simulators will train pilots for Airbus A320 and Airbus A350 aircraft. In the later phase, the number of simulators can be expanded to 20. The main goal of this facility will be to train pilots for Air India. However, given its large capacity, other airlines in the region will also be welcomes to train their pilots.
L3Harris for Boeing Pilots
You might be wondering that Airbus family pilots will be trained at the JV facility stated above. Then, where will Boeing pilots train?
For this, Air India has partnered with leading organization L3Harris Aviation Academy. This US-based aviation academy will set up a joint venture in India in collaboration with Air India. At this facility, pilots will be trained for Boeing 737, Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 aircraft. In the order placed in June, the airline ordered 190 Boeing 737 MAX, 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and 10 Boeing 777X. A few months ago, Indian aviation regulator allowed Air India Boeing 787 pilots to fly Vistara Dreamliners enhancing the synergy between both the airlines.
Sunil Bhaskaran, who was the Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia India is overseeing the aviation academy. In November, AirAsia India brand was liquidated. CEO of Air India Express Aloke Singh was given the task to spearhead the merged entity while Sunil Bhaskaran was given the work to manage the training facility.
Location and Competition
If Air India succeeds in doing this, it will be in direct competition with IndiGo. As of now, IndiGo has partnership with CAE Inc in the company named “CAE Simulation Training Private Limited (CSTPL)”. Majority of share in Indian simulator business is held by CSTPL. It is already operating a fleet of 8 simulators. Within next 2 years, it will expand with 5 more.
Talking about the location, there is nothing official right now. But in February this year, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala said that Air India was looking to establish an Aviation Training Academy at Hisar Airport. Given the vast area available, Hisar is the perfect location for setting up a training academy. The Dep CM said that if Air India opens the facility, it will train more than 200 pilots every year.
Currently, Air India has 2 simulator training facilities : One in Hyderabad and other in Mumbai. The Hyderabad facility trains Airbus pilots and Mumbai facility trains Boeing widebody pilots. In August month, DGCA suspended the approval license of both the simulator facilities. This was done after it found serious lapses in training procedures of the airline. However, in September, the suspension was revoked as per conditions.
Source : Business Standard