National carrier Air India has initiated the process for recruiting 197 pilots, taking into consideration its fleet augmentation plans and retirements that will happen in the next two years.
Air India had a strength of 1,464 pilots as on February 1 this year.
"In view of the fleet augmentation and the retirements to take place in the next two years, Air India has advertised for filing up of 197 vacancies," Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
Last fiscal, the carrier hired just one pilot while there was no recruitment of pilots in 2013-14 period. Prior to that, 2 pilots were hired in 2012-13 fiscal while the number stood at 39 during 2011-12 financial year.
According to the Minister, pilots are subjected to fly only within the applicable Flight Duty and Time Limitations (FDTL).
The Minister also noted that there is no proposal at present to amend the pilots` working hour rules.
To a question on whether Air India is considering to employ foreign pilots, Sharma replied in negative.