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Air India to set up South Asia's largest flying training organisation at Amravati, Maharashtra

Vivek Vishwakarma
New Update
Air India

Tata Group's airline unit Air India is set to establish a Flying Training Organisation (FTO) at Amravati in Maharashtra, marking a significant milestone as the first airline-operated FTO in India.

The development, part of a broader strategy to enhance pilot training capacity in the country, aligns with the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC)'s efforts.

The FTO at Amravati’s Belora airport is expected to become operational by the first quarter of the fiscal year 2025-26 (FY26).

Addressing a gap in India's aviation sector


The launch of this FTO comes at a crucial time when Indian carriers are gearing up to accommodate an increasing number of passengers. Indian airlines have made substantial aircraft orders, including Air India’s order for 470 planes (250 with Airbus and 220 with Boeing) and IndiGo’s record-breaking order for 500 A320neo family planes.

Additionally, the Late Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-founded Akasa Air has ordered 150 B737 Max aircraft.

As these planes join the fleets, the demand for trained pilots will soar. According to Air India, the FTO will aim to graduate 180 commercial pilots annually, addressing a significant gap in the country's aviation sector.

How will the FTO operate?

The FTO will feature a fleet of 31 single-engine aircraft and three twin-engine planes for training purposes.

Spread over 10 acres, the facility will include digitally enabled classrooms, hostels, a digitized operations center, and its own maintenance facility, ensuring comprehensive training and operational efficiency. 

The Maharashtra Airport Development Company has awarded Air India a 30-year tender to establish and run this training institute, reinforcing long-term commitments to aviation training in the region.

FTO expected to bring numerous benefits

The establishment of the FTO is anticipated to bring numerous benefits. Campbell Wilson, MD and CEO of Air India, emphasized that the FTO will play a crucial role in making Indian aviation more self-reliant and providing more opportunities for Indian youth to pursue careers as pilots.

Sunil Bhaskaran, Director of the Aviation Academy at Air India, highlighted the world-class curriculum that aspiring pilots will follow, comparable to the best global aviation schools.

Swati Pandey, Vice Chairman & Managing Director of MADC, noted that the FTO would boost Maharashtra's economy by creating over 3,000 new employment opportunities in the aviation sector.

Additionally, it will generate employment in various allied activities, contributing over Rs 1,000 crore to the state’s GDP over the next decade. The initiative is also expected to inspire students in Maharashtra to pursue aviation careers, fostering a sense of pride and ambition within the state.