Air India takes a bold step to address the pilot shortage with a new training academy in Maharashtra.

Amid rising demand for pilots in India’s aviation sector, Air India is making a strategic move by building a cutting-edge pilot training facility in Amravati, Maharashtra. This endeavor, as reported by The Economic Times, represents a substantial departure from the conventional dependence on independent flight schools both in India and abroad.

Vision for the Future

Air India’s new academy, which will educate up to 180 pilots annually, aims to ensure the airline’s long-term talent stream. By taking over the training process, Air India hopes to increase the quality of pilot education in the country and reduce its reliance on expensive overseas training programs. This program is especially relevant, as more than 40% of Indian pilot trainees are currently seeking schooling abroad, spending up to Rs 2 crore.

Training Excellence and Advanced Infrastructure

The academy will provide extensive full-time training programs to ambitious pilots, including those with no previous flying experience. Graduates will be prepared to join Air India’s fleet, with a focus on internal needs first, and plans to later extend training to other candidates.

To support this ambitious effort, Air India has purchased around 30 single-engine and four multi-engine aircraft from the manufacturers Piper (USA) and Diamond (Europe). These aircraft will be utilized for both ab initio (basic) and advanced type-rated instruction on specific aircraft models, such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737. In addition, in collaboration with Airbus and US-based L3 Harris, Air India is establishing a training center in Gurugram with six simulators for type-rated and recurrent training.

Governmental Support and Industry Impact

This school supports the Indian government’s efforts to expand domestic pilot training possibilities, making them more accessible and inexpensive. The timing is critical, as major Indian airlines, including IndiGo, Air India, and Akasa, have made reservations for around 1,250 new aircraft over the next decade, greatly increasing demand for experienced pilots.

Sunil Bhaskaran, a seasoned Tata Group executive and former CEO of AirAsia India, is leading the development of Air India’s training infrastructure. His experience is intended to guarantee that the training facilities meet or exceed international standards, hence improving the quality and efficiency of pilot training in India.

Transforming Indian Aviation Training

Air India’s decision to build its own training institution signifies a watershed moment in the Indian aviation training environment. Traditionally, airlines such as IndiGo have worked with a number of independent flight schools to meet their training requirements. Air India hopes to retain a consistent and dependable supply of skilled pilots by developing a self-sufficient training program, which is critical for the company’s operational stability and expansion.


The development of Air India’s pilot training academy in Maharashtra demonstrates the airline’s proactive approach to tackling the pilot shortage situation. By assuming control of its talent pipeline, Air India hopes to improve training quality while also dramatically reducing reliance on international flight schools. With significant government support, this project is poised to change pilot training in India, ensuring that the aviation industry has the trained staff it requires to succeed in the coming years.

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