India's Emerging Airline Industry

Jet Airways

India’s advancement on the world scene is remarkable and noteworthy. At one time this Asian nation of 1.2 billion people seemed hopelessly stuck in the past, regulating its few notable industries and squelching innovation.

India Then And Now

Today, India has transformed itself into a county with a strong global presence. Certainly, the country has deeply ingrained poverty problems, but compared to one generation ago when its population was roughly half its current size, India’s advancement internally and internationally is worth noting.

As recently as the mid-1990s, India’s airline industry was heavily regulated and controlled by just two air carriers — government-backed Air India and Indian Airlines. Up until that time, India’s populace relied almost exclusively on train travel to get from city to city, with air travel reserved only for those people who could afford it.

Repeal of the 1953 Air Corporations Act

With the 1994 repeal of the 1953 act

nationalizing its airline industry, India began to open the door to competition from private companies which is evident today as the strongest airlines operating from India are privately-held. Airlines such as Kingfisher, Jet Airways, Air Sahara (now JetLite), IndiGo, and SpiceJet are providing the bulk of the service for Indians and, increasingly as with Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways, are global competitors too.

On the cargo front, Blue Dart Aviation and Deccan Holdings’ Flyington Freighters are two of the largest dedicated freight movers serving India.

Flight Attendants Or Flying Models?

Several Indian air carriers are hiring and will consider international crewmembers. However, if you are an American or Canadian citizen who is considering this option, you may want to acquaint yourself with Indian customs before applying.

Specifically, some airlines will hire only women who must be of a certain age, and are looking for what they consider to be “flying models” as in the case of Kingfisher

. While this custom may appear to be archaic, if not outright illegal, Westerners should remember that local customs and laws prevail — if this is something you find objectionable, then applying elsewhere is my recommendation. Cabin Managers exists simply to provide you with relevant information — the decision where you want to work rests with you.

Most of India’s fleet is modern as both Boeing and Airbus are supplying the airlines with aircraft they need for rapidly expanding travel demand. With a growing middle class, customer demand will continue unabated opening the door for additional business opportunities.

Whether you want to pursue a career with India’s finest may be another matter, but it is an option that didn’t even exist just a few years ago.


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