Air India gets regulatory nod to allow pilots to operate multiple Boeing aircraft types

India’s aviation regulator, DGCA, has approved a request from Air India to allow the same pilots to operate multiple Boeing wide-body aircraft types. The move will enable the airline to use the same pilots, over time, to operate two different kinds of aircraft.

DGCA approves the request for pilots to be allowed multiple kinds of aircraft

Air India has long requested the ability to utilise the same pilots to operate two-type of Boeing wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 777 and the Boeing 787.  The approval for Multi-Seat Flying, as it is called, was granted on March 3.

First, Air India will be allowed to train eight designated examiners to operate the Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft. A  designated examiner is an experienced pilot who the regulator has authorised to carry out various tests and checks as per civil aviation requirements. The examiner is an employee of the airline concerned.

Under the plan approved by the DGCA, 4 777 DEs and 4 787 DEs will be trained on the ground and in the simulator before they are allowed to be flying the new equipment. They will then need to achieve at least 150 hours of flying with at least ten landings for operating Boeing 777 and 787 separately.

Cross utilisation of pilots is being followed by airlines in around 16 countries. Per the DGCA, this is a trial, and they will grant further full permission after seeing how this exercise proceeds and the data that they get to see out of it.


Air India has received provisional approval for allowing their pilots to operate two different aircraft types. The sample set of 8 will be cross-trained on both equipment, i.e., the 777 and the 787 aircraft and will have to achieve 150 hours of flying and get in 10 landings before the DGCA allows further move on this permission.

What do you think of enabling multiple fleet types for the same pilots, and the safety implications of this move?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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