Air India has onboarded its first batch of cadet pilots as it transitions to the "climb" phase of its five-year transformation programme, the airline's Managing Director & CEO, Campbell Wilson, wrote in a staff email on Friday.

"We have onboarded the first batch of cadet pilots who will soon commence ground training with our partner flying schools in the US later this month. Also, after much hard work, our cabin crew team also cleared the backlog of training batches and marked the release-to-service of our 4000th new crew member since privatisation! These new colleagues join our great group of experienced leaders and mentors, and together, with an average age of 28, they will personify the new Air India around the world," Wilson said in his email.

The Tata group took over Air India in January 2022, and in the same year, it unveiled a five-year transformation plan called Vihaan.Ai. The airline has expanded its network, signed a mega aircraft order, and is working towards the integration of Vistara with itself.

Transition phase

The transition from "take off" to "climb" phase comes amid flight disruptions at Vistara over a new salary structure and complaints by Air India pilots over exploitive work practices.

Wilson said the airline's finance and HR departments are finalising staff increments for the year, and the same will come into effect from April 1 after all necessary board approvals.

Accounting system

Wilson also announced a cutover to a new revenue accounting system, which improves many aspects of revenue capture, reconciliation, reporting, and control, as well as reducing cost and enabling a complete refresh of the loyalty programme, Flying Returns, which was launched earlier this week.