The airline wants to retain skilled workers as it looks to expand its business.

Air India Airbus A320
Photo: Nicolas Economou | Shutterstock

As carriers in India ramp up operations and get on with growth plans, airline workers, particularly pilots and cabin crew, are in great demand. Last year, several airline employees switched companies as many carriers offered better salaries in a post-COVID environment. With Air India hoping to expand significantly, it needs all the talent across departments to support the growth. And latest reports suggest it is ready to increase the salaries of its employees.


Air India could reportedly announce a salary hike across various departments as the competition among airlines to hire the best industry talent heats up. According to a report by Mint, the airline will first start with pilots and could give them an increment of around 8-10% and bring them to par with global standards. It quotes a person familiar with the matter as saying,

“The first round of hikes may be over the next couple of months. Pilots will be the first to get hikes. Salary corrections will also take place for the cabin crew and other officers.”

Air India Boeing 787

Photo: IanC66 | Shutterstock

An Air India executive says that the primary reason behind this is a pilot shortage which is “causing a rethink in airlines’ strategies.” Carriers need to consider the salary structure if they want to prevent skilled employees from leaving for other airlines.

The poaching threat comes not just from within India but also from overseas, particularly from Middle East carriers who often offer better salary packages than what Indian airlines have traditionally given. But post-COVID and with Air India’s privatization, much has changed. Mint quotes the Air India executive as saying,

“The hike has been planned to assure the pilots of the vision of the Tata Group for Air India. It is expected to help pilots have confidence in the group at a time when other airlines are hiring.”

Other Indian airlines are following the trend, too

Air India won’t be the only airline in India to offer a hike. Others have gradually offered pay hikes over the last several months as business recovers post-COVID, and there are plans to provide further increments.

IndiGo A320neo Taxiing

Photo: Harsh – S / Shutterstock

Last month, it was reported that IndiGo will bring back pilot increments this year. The airline took quite a beating during the pandemic and saw several of its employees dissatisfied over reduced salaries. But encouraged by positive quarterly figures, IndiGo feels it’s the right time to offer a hike.

Air India’s latest hike will not apply to Vistara pilots and crew as it remains independent until its merger is finalized. But it was reported last month that Vistara, too, was looking to offer better pay to pilots and cabin crew amid increasing competition.

Vistara Airbus A321

Photo: Airbus

The trend in India mirrors what’s happening globally, as several airlines, particularly in the US, are increasing the salaries of flying crew, with Delta Air Lines agreeing to as much as a 34% hike.

What are your views on this? Please leave a comment below.

Source: Mint

  • Tom Boon-200

    Air India

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Campbell Wilson



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