With Boeing 777 aircraft for VVIP travel set to be delivered to Air India in September, the national carrier has stepped up the process to train pilots who will operate the Air India One fleet (VVIP flights). As part of this exercise, two more Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots joined Air India on Monday.
Induction of two new pilots is in addition to four co-pilots from IAF who are currently undergoing training. Airline officials said of the four, two pilots have completed half their online training on the simulator and the remaining two have completed ground training as part of the overall training exercise.
National carrier Air India had in May sought applications to fill vacancies for pilots in Air India One – the VVIP aircraft under IAF control. Around 40 Air India pilots had applied to fly the VVIP aircraft, which will carry dignitaries-president, vice president and prime minister of India.
According to the terms and conditions mentioned in the circular issued by the executive director (ED) of operations on May 15, pilots will have to join duty and serve the aircraft on deputation for maximum two years and will continue to be on Air India’s payroll with deputation allowance of 10% of basic pay. The pilots on deputation will also be entitled to guaranteed 70 hours of flying allowance along with overtime.
The national carrier will be training around six IAF pilots to fly two Boeing 777 (B777) aircraft called Air India One. Currently, the national carrier uses its Boeing 747, the double-decker aircraft to fly VVIPs. Air India did not comment on the developments related to the VVIP flight.