Careers in aviation grow even as sector witnesses slowdown

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS,

New Delhi : The Indian aviation sector may have hit an air pocket because of an industry slowdown and rising airfares, but a leading travel and tourism training institute says this is temporary – the sector will boom, and jobs abound.

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The Kuoni Academy of Travel, the Mumbai-based training institute that is part of the Kuoni Travel Group, has tied up with the Britain-based Cabin Crew Direct and the Dubai-based International Airline and Business Academy (IABA) to train cabin crew aspirants.

It is offering a four-month diploma course comprising 18 modules designed in association with leading international airlines to meet training standards across the world.

“We have tried to ensure that our courses meet the highest standards of quality. The tie-up with Cabin Crew Direct and IABA underlines our commitment to provide Indian students with world class content which can help them with their careers,” Kuoni Academy principal Smeeta Gulvady told IANS.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), in its latest estimates, reckons India will be the driving force behind the world’s civil aviation business that is globally expected to grow from $5.1 billion to $5.6 billion this year.

The current market size of the international air traffic in India is nearly $5 billion (Rs.21,000). Industry insiders forecast that it is expected to grow phenomenally, creating a huge need for skilled manpower.

“There is such a huge demand for cabin jobs and a vast number of such jobs are available – not necessarily in India at the moment due to temporary problems,” John Ellis, chief executive officer of Cabin Crew Direct, told IANS in an email interview.

“International airlines open a great career option, offering an opportunity for the cabin crew to visit different countries and continents that they could ever dream of,” he added.

Ellis said Indians perform better as cabin crew than many nationalities across the globe because they are highly educated.

“They adapt well to training, they are very presentable, and India is the nation that speaks English best though it is not the country’s first language,” Ellis said.

“The best types of applicants are those who are well-educated, very presentable and enthusiastic and have experience in customer service. Other criteria include height, weight, eyesight and, as most airlines demand, the ability to swim.

“The average Indian applicant fulfils a lot of these criteria being a very hospitable, intelligent and friendly race. However, the ability to swim is not as high in India as compared to some other countries. And this is an area where the Kuoni academy will be helping the candidates,” he said.

Overall, Ellis said, the quality of cabin crew from India is world class, as can be seen from international airlines who recruit from them in large numbers.