Crew training centres boom in India

Himalayan News Service

Mumbai, June 13:

It’s boom time not only for airlines in India but also for the training centres for flight attendants. The gradual opening up of the domestic sky as well as launch of a slew of new carriers has given rise to a demand for trained flight attendants. Finishing schools for cabin crew — a career option that evinced little interest from youngsters just a year ago — are mushrooming all across the country. Industry representatives say the aviation boom has made the career of flight attendants a popular choice for the vast pool of English-speaking graduates even in smaller cities like Pune, Chandigarh and Kanpur. “The chances for youngsters to get a crew member’s job in the aviation industry in India is much higher today than it was a year ago mainly due to the boom in the sector,” said Sapna Gupta, chief consultant of Air Hostess Academy. “Lots of students, even from smaller towns, are now getting an opportunity to get into the aviation sector,” Gupta said, “This is the preferred career option for them because the money is good and the job carries a lot of glamour. Since the stress is on creating a large pool of trained human resources, the role of grooming centres has become very crucial.”

At least four new airlines will take off in the domestic aviation sector over the next six months and half a dozen more are likely to be added in two to three years, according to industry experts. After the commercial launch of Kingfisher Airlines and Spice Jet, budget airlines will have other new entrants like Magic Air, Go Air, and Air One in the coming months. Many domestic carriers like Jet Airways and Air Sahara are spreading their wings overseas under the government’s liberalised policies. This has fuelled the demand for trained pilots and flight attendants like never before. According to Gupta, the domestic aviation sector would require some 21,000 trained cabin crews within the next one year. This will further rise to 40,000 in the next three years. A trained flight attendant can expect to get a salary of anywhere between $460 and $2,295 per month.

Air Hostess Academy, which has 15 centres in different parts of the country, has decided to

expand aggressively and entered into uncharted territories like Chennai and Kolkata to cash in on the newfound craze among youngsters. “Last year we received some 15,000 applications for training at our institute and we finally selected 1,500 candidates. This year, we have received 30,000 applications and there is still one month to go,” said Gupta. Rakesh Aggarwal, marketing manager of Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess Training, says the sector has become very attractive for aspiring candidates as more and more foreign airlines are also recruiting from India. According to Aggarwal, Delta Airlines selected 15 Frankfinn students through a campus interview conducted last month. This comes on the heels of Yemen’s national airline Yemenia recruiting 20 graduates in December last year. “It’s a new age career opportunity for youngsters and we are there to help them understand the industry,” says Aggarwal of Frankfinn, which manages 41 training centres in 31 cities.