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Incredible India!?

Friday, September 07, 2018

Thomson Reuters news agency has recently reported, to the world’s amazement, that India has been found to have the highest percentage of female commercial pilots globally. At 12 per cent India beats even countries like the US and Australia and zooms ahead of the global average of less than 5 per cent of pilots who are women. The news agency report goes on to say that the demand for pilots is surging globally and, as air travel rises, an estimated 790,000 new pilots will be needed globally over the next 20 years -- double the current workforce. India, it says, happens to be the world’s fastest-growing aviation market with domestic capacity having grown 22 per cent in the first half of 2018, so airlines in the country are under particular pressure. Also, because pilot pay is based on seniority and flying hours under union agreements, it is one of the rare professions in India where there is no gender pay gap. The starting salary, including flying allowance, for pilots is Rs18-34 lakhs a year depending on the airline and type of aircraft. As an example, the report cites that about 13 percent of the pilots at IndiGo are women, up from 10 percent five years ago. At SpiceJet Ltd, 12 per cent of pilots are women, including some department heads, and there is a mandate to grow that to 33 percent in the next three years as stated by chairman Ajay Singh. From all this we would say that India is ever the land of remarkable surprises, isn’t it?

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