AirAsia has begun hiring pilots for its Indian operations, the airline's group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes tweeted today.
AirAsia operates narrow body airbus A320 planes and its recruitment drive will bring in relief for pilots of grounded Kingfisher airlines and thousands of unemployed pilots in the country.
The airline is holding cabin crew interviews at Chennai on Saturday.
The airline has invited applications till April 19 and said the interviews will be held in Bangalore. The airline plans to start operations with 3-4 airbus A320s from Chennai and will connect tier II-III cities.
Fernandes has earlier announced that the airline will skip high cost airports like Mumbai and Delhi.
According to aviation experts the pilots requirement will depend upon the fleet size and spread of operations. It needs to hire or have commitment of certain number of pilots before it seeks the operating permit from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
"If they restrict their operations to South India I think they can start with 4-4.5 sets of pilots per aircraft," said a retired A320 commander.
He added that pilots from other airlines are unlikely to resign and join AirAsia until it secured a no objection clearance from civil aviation ministry. The airline could also bring on deputation pilots from Malaysia for its launch phase.
Air Asia did not respond to email query on the issue.