Air India Express new COO Captain Pawan Arora stated he took a pay cut to join Air India Express from Indigo with the COO to receive INR12 million (USD272,000) in annual salary (Times of India, 05-Nov-2010). He is on a three-year contract with Air India Express with six months probation.
Air India Express: "Cabin crew salaries here are among the lowest in the market. I plan to go to the AI board and hope that in stages, financial relief will be provided to them. Flying modules for pilots too have been reduced from six months to eight weeks so that they can be inducted faster. We have recruited 40-45 first officers. Though AI and AI Express have separate air operating permits, it's a fact that we are under the shadow of AI. But we'll soon start an AI Express executive cadre so we can function with some autonomy. We need to empower people. We will shift base from Mumbai to Kerala. While engineering, hangers and stores will be based in Thiruvananthapuram, operations and commercial will be in Kochi. We will also start domestic operations from metros to Tier II and III cities; many will be non-traditional routes. This way, my planes will get utilised much more and additional revenues generated. The name could be changed to Express India once ratified by the board. Cabin crew uniforms too are in for a change. However, the distinctive designs on the tail of the planes will remain as they have good brand recall," Pawan Arora, COO. Source: Times of India, 05-Nov-2010.