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It's boom time for Indian air hostesses
Pradipta Mukherjee
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January 25, 2007

As the demand for aircrafts and the hospitality industry is poised to treble by 2009, the Air Hostess Academy, one of India's leading institutes in aviation and hospitality management, plans to cash in on this trend.

"As aviation and hospitality are the booming industries right now, demand is 7-10 times higher than availability of skilled personnel. Also, in these industries, attrition rate, especially in the junior levels, is about 25 per cent. So there is a constant demand for professionally qualified personnel in these industries," explained Akash Gupta, chief operating officer of AHA. 

Moreover, in the domestic market itself, about 30 people are required on each aircraft. As demand for aircrafts is expected to reach 900 by 2009, from 350 at present, one can imagine the kind of job opportunities this would open up, informed Gupta.

"We are investing close to $35 million in setting up new campuses, increasing seats for trainees, as well setting up technical training bases in India at an additional cost of approximately $10 million," said Gupta.

The institute, at present, has 27 training centres across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur, Dehradun, Pune, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Raipur, Jammu, Indore, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Ludhiana, Vadodara and Bangalore. It is planning a total of 35 training centres by April this year, spanning across 18 cities.

The institute is also planning international campuses in US, Canada and Australia as well as talks with airlines for recruitment partnerships.

"We have provided 350 candidates in 6 months to Emirates, and would be providing 500 more in the next one year," informed Gupta. The institute is also planning to set up a technical training base in either Delhi or Mumbai by September 2008 at an estimated cost of $8-10 million. This would be a technical training centre for cabin crews.

The institute is also increasing seats to accommodate close to 12,000 trainees from 2,600 last year. Of the 12,000 seats this year, 350 seats would be for international students from places like Kathmandu, Sri Lanka, etc.  Another 25 per cent of the seats would be occupied by government contracts as the institute has a quota to offer training to people from socially backward classes.

"We are going to train close to 200 people for Tamil Nadu government this year, and  500 for Maharashtra government," said Gupta. The institute has already trained about 150 candidates for Karnataka government. The starting salary a student can expect is usually in the Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh range, depending on the city and company one finds placements in.

"We don't guarantee placements, as many graduates don't always opt for an immediate employment. They may either go on for further studies or join various other businesses. But we can guarantee job opportunities in the ratio of 1:3, where every student of our institute would be able to find at least three job opportunities in aviation, hospitality as well as in other industries," claimed Gupta.

AHA, at present, caters to the manpower requirements in airlines and hotels such as Qatar Airways, American Airlines, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Sri Lankan Airlines, Jet Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Air Deccan, Spicejet, Kingfisher Airlines, Taj Palace hotel, ITC Maurya Sheraton, Shangri-La Hotel, Radisson Hotel, Hyatt Regency, Grand Hyatt, The Oberoi group, Rambagh Hotel, Rajputana Sheraton, Hotel Le Meridien,Hotel Taj Blue Diamond and Mughal Sheraton Hotels.

AHA offers one-year diploma certification in Aviation and Hospitality Management for an estimated course fee of Rs 95,000. 

It also offers diploma in Global Aviation and Hospitality Management for two years at an estimated Rs 1 lakh and Rs 75,000.

"Course fee is modified according to USPs. For example, if we are hiring Boeing aircraft 40 times in a year for training, automatically course fee would go up for the students," said Gupta.

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