IndiGo Airlines may lose a good chunk of its commanders to AirAsia India as around 100 of its pilots have applied for jobs with the proposed carrier, say sources. Besides a hefty package that AirAsia India is offering to the pilots, there are other reasons, like better working conditions, for these pilots to move out, say Indigo sources. "As many as 100 commanders have sought jobs with AirAsia India. And this is not only for higher packages, but also for better working conditions," airline sources told PTI. A text message sent to the IndiGo spokesman did not yield any response.
AirAsia, in collaboration with Tata Sons and Telestra TradePlace of Arun Bhatia, plans to launch a budget airline by the end of the year with its headquarters in Chennai. AirAsia is expected to bring in competitive pricing in the domestic aviation market with its "nano" airfares and may pose a direct competition to IndiGo, which is the undisputed leader in the low-cost segment now.
Incidentally, both IndiGo and AirAsia, have Airbus operations. IndiGo currently has around 1,000 pilots to operate its fleet of 66 Airbus planes. Out of these, nearly 60 per cent of them are commanders. "An IndiGo commanders' average take-home salary is around Rs 3.20-3.30 lakh a month, which is below the industry level. As against this, AirAsia India is offering a take-home salary of Rs 4-4.20 lakh a month," sources said.