With travel picking up and new new airlines set to be launched, the aviation sector is likely to see a 30 per cent increase in hiring over the next two quarters, according to experts.

Ajoy Thomas, Vice-President and Business Head (Retail, Ecommerce, Logistics & transportation), TeamLease Services, said that despite conversations around automation, the aviation industry will continue to be predominantly people-focussed. “Overall, as per industry sentiments, we are expecting hiring to pick up by 30 per cent in the next two quarters,” he said.

According to data from Monster.com, in April 2022, the aviation industry saw an increase in hiring momentum with a double-digit growth in jobs.

In contrast, the sector had witnessed a huge drop in last couple of years due the pandemic-related travel restrictions.

All sub-sectors reported massive losses in 2020 globally, except for freight forwarders and cargo airlines. Hordes of aviation employees lost their jobs and many faced salary cuts, as airline battled massively reduced revenues. Around 20,00 employees in India’s aviation sector lost their jobs during the two-year-long-pandemic, according to parliamentary data. The sector recorded a massive loss of more than ₹25,000 crore. 

Airlines like IndiGo cut down on 10 per cent of their workforce, and Vistara, too, resorted to salary cuts. SpiceJet and Go First offered variable pay to their employees.

However, with two airlines — Jet Airways and Akasa likely to start operations over the next two quarters — the change in management of Air India, consolidation of Tata Group-owned airlines, reduction in Covid cases and the opening up of the borders, will give a good boost to hiring.

 Kapil Joshi, V-P, Quess Corp, said the employment of commercial pilots is projected to grow for the next few years. He explained that as new airlines begin their operations and established ones add new aircraft to their fleet, the industry will witness a rise in demand for operations staff, especially in the engineering space.

“We will also observe more shop visits for engine overhauls, thus creating job opportunities in the MRP (Maintenance, Repair & Operations) space. Parallelly, we are witnessing a spike in demand in the engineering, IT and analytics space from GCCs based in India as they are carrying out the design, R&D and innovation work for the aviation industry,” Joshi added.

According to an aviation industry expert, there will be a lot of job shifts in the top management level as well. “With several leading organisations that haven’t restored pre-Covid level salaries, and others willing to poach them, we are multiple shifts in the top management and mid-management levels as well,” said a source. 

Nonetheless, experts do not forecast employers to offer generous salaries. “Industry players are being extremely conservative while hiring, whether it is new or old players. While the new players are being cautious to not splurge because of being bootstrapped, older players have taken a massive hit on their balance sheets, too,” said an industry executive..