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IndiGo to make behavioural test must for upgrade and promotion of pilots

Inclusion of BEI as part of upgrade and promotion comes in the backdrop of pilot unrest due to delay in restoration of pay cuts which were induced in phases during two years of the pandemic

IndiGo | IndiGo Airlines | Pilots

Arindam Majumder  |  New Delhi 

indigo, airlines, aviation, flights, air craft
A senior executive of the airline said that during the interview if a person fails, he will be handled and counselled by experts for six months after which he can reappear for the interview

India’s largest airline will make Behavioural Event Interviews a must for for upgrade and getting promoted to management positions.

According to an internal memo reviewed by Business Standard, the Behavioral Assessment Interviews (BEI) will be required for to get upgrades as captains from senior first officers and for all management positions in the flight operations department like Fleet Supervisors, trainers and auditors.

has developed the program with human resource consulting firm Aon Hewitt and will be the only airline in the world to have BEI mandatory for upgrades and leadership positions.

The inclusion of BEI as part of upgrade and promotion comes in the backdrop of a pilot unrest in the company, due to a delay in restoration of salary cuts which were induced in phase during two years of the pandemic.

The airline suspended five pilots—in what is the first case of action against organised labour protest the airline witnessed in its inception.

“The attitude of its employees plays a pivotal role in shaping an organization. With our focus being on enhancing and shaping the right attitude for Pilots, inside and outside the cockpit, we move towards our next critical step in the Pilot Upgrade Project. I am confident that these behavioral interviews will help us choose and upgrade the right people for the right job which is a much required necessity for any organization to become world class,” Ashim Mittra, senior vice president, flight operations at wrote in the memo.

In human resources terms, the objective of a BEI is to get very detailed behavioral descriptions of how a person will react under different conditions. In aviation, it is a crucial part of crew resource management, to choose the best-aligned candidates for the company and mitigate the future risks of pilot conflicts.


An IndiGo spokesperson said that while the BEI interviews will currently be rolled out for the flight operations department, gauging the impact and outcome of the same, it can be implemented across the departments.

A senior executive of the airline said that during the interview if a person fails, he will be handled and counselled by experts for six months after which he can reappear for the interview.

“Inclusion of BEI is part of our long term plan to help align our to the company’s culture and values by selecting the right attitude and the right behavior for the right work profile. It will identify and upgrade those pilots who are already aligned and guide those who need to be molded and polished,” the executive said adding that while currently BEI will be used for upgrades & management positions it will soon be launched for newly inducted pilots too.

“We need to identify leadership competencies in our pilots which are aligned to the core values of IndiGo and give our customers an enhanced experience of on-time, hassle free and courteous experience from the flight deck,” he said.

The airline has also started a new process called “culture training” for its freshly inducted pilots under which they will spend time with other flight operations departments like rostering, scheduling to get acclimatised with their working.

Pilots’ salary has become a thorny issue for India’s largest airline as pilots are unhappy with their pre-Covid salary not yet being restored in full.

Despite a partial restoration of salary hike, pilots remain disgruntled as the airline is currently operating more than 1,600 flights per day which is higher than what it operated before COVID grounded travel.

However, senior executives of the airline pointed out that the number of flights is not an indicator that the airline has regained its financial health and utilisation of aircraft still remains low with high fuel price increasing cost of operations manifold.

A few unhappy pilots expressing unhappiness over salary cuts even used expletives on radio while operating aircraft, prompting an investigation by civil aviation regulator DGCA.

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First Published: Fri, May 06 2022. 20:23 IST