One of the most sought-after jobs in the aviation business, Air India failed to grab the attention of job-seekers and applicants who became too cautious and wary of the airline and did not turn up for the walk-in interviews that it had scheduled in Hyderabad on both 10th and 11th March, 2015.
The interviews were scheduled to hire Captains or Commanders but not a single applicant came to the venue on the day of the interview.
The Hindustan Times reported Air India’s spokesperson saying that “no commander turned up.”
The plan was to hire around 197 commanders and first officers or co-pilots for the Airbus fleet of Air India. However, for this problem, Air India management has been at fault, as the airline’s officials claimed, who were flown in along with senior experts for conducting the interview and selecting capable officers for the vacant posts.
According to the AI official, “This is the first time in recent memory that the airline organised walk-in interviews for captains and it was completely mismanaged.”
Both the experts and the senior AI officials who formed the Board of panelists had been lodged at five-star hotels but to their huge dismay, shock and disappointment, their long hours of wait turned into nothing but a serious case of mismanagement and disaster in the history of aviation business. One Air India official even took a pot-shot at the AI managerial team, saying that “the applications should have been invited online and panelists flown in only if there were applicants.”
This wave of horror and disappointment at the incident was reiterated by a senior pilot, who lamented that what happened was “a statement on the state of affairs at Air India that a once sought-after job failed to attract a single applicant.”
The HT had also reported earlier that the issue of directly hiring captains had faced much opposition by the Air India pilots and had even gone as far as warning them against this walk- in interview’s “potential of creating industrial unrest.”
The once largest operator in the subcontinent that had a market share of more than 60 per cent has now dropped down to the fourth place, with rivals such as Indigo, SpiceJet and Jet Airways taking the top position in Indian aviation. In four consecutive years, from 2007 to 2011, the flight’s business saw a sharp decline from 19.2 per cent to 14 per cent and it is all accounted to not only the tough competition from private carriers, but also the financial service and labour troubles that needed huge restructuring and implementation of disciplinary regulations in the carrier, which it finally did. The airline ultimately emerged at the third position after Indigo and Jet Airways making its market share somewhere around a little above 19 per cent.
However, this incident has yet again marked shame and huge embarrassment for the Air India team and more so, for the future of aviation in India.