By Nirbhay Kumar
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Korean Air will hold a two-day “road show” in Delhi on Friday and Saturday to hire pilots from the grounded Jet Airways which has seen an exodus of staff in the wake of suspension of operations.
The foreign carrier is looking at hiring around 300-400 pilots for flying its wide-body airplanes such as the B777-300s. Korean Air connects 124 cities with a mix of Boeing and Airbus aircraft. The airline owns 167 aircraft connecting cities in 44 countries.
“The road show is a kind of job fair for pilots. The executives from Korean Air would brief us about their requirements. The job fair is being held in both Delhi and Mumbai,” a senior pilot said.
Jet Airways’ pilot union National Aviators Guild (NAG) has arranged the road show and is facilitating interactions with the members.
According to an internal email, seen by IANS, the road show is for all ranks of pilots from the B777, A330 and B737.
“The information sessions are important to understand growth prospects, routes flown, home base rotation etc. It will be conducted by the Korean expat cell who will be handling the Jet Airways pilots as well,” the mail addressed to pilots said.
The NAG Vice President Captain Asim Valiani said that road show was on for hiring pilots but added that he still hoped that Jet Airways will be revived and pilots will hold on for some time.
“We are waiting for the outcome (of banks-led stake sale process for Jet Airways). We have three months window to join a new airline so we are waiting,” Valiani said.
NAG currently has about 900-1,000 pilots as members now, down from earlier strength of about 1,500. Following the grounding of Jet Airways last month, many of its pilots have joined rival local carriers such as SpiceJet, Air India, IndiGo and Vistara.
In response to lenders’ call for stake sale in the airline, only Etihad Airways submitted a bid.
The other three investors — private equity firm TPG Capital, Indigo Partners and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) which had qualified in the expression of interest(EoI) did not give any financial proposal.
There are two unsolicited bids from foreign investors and Hinduja group earlier this week said that it was evaluating Jet Airways opportunity.
(Nirbhay Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])