After hearing about the news that Air Asia pilots are expected to be loaders as well as inspection engineers [AirAsia gets set to redefine cheap flights in India], some bus drivers from National Travels and Jabbar Travels etc have started calling the Chennai offices of AirAsia for placements.
Their reasoning is simple. Here are few things common between Volvo/Mercedes buses and airplanes
- These are mostly painted white and advertises company website in bold as part of livery.
- Good amount of training is needed before taking the wheels. Both of them wears white uniforms.
- 12th pass is the minimum standard for both of these drivers.
- Both kind of vehicles are prone to go up in flames if not on well defined routes and burn passengers beyond recognition.
- Many Luxury bus travels are as costly as plane tickets. And plane rides sometimes are as cheap as buses.
- Both jack up prices 3-4 times during weekends.
- Plane travel between nearby cities takes as much time as buses due to increased security, far out airports etc. AirAsia is anyway planning to skip metro to metro routes.
The only difference till now was that Airline pilots were not doing non-driving work. Playing field has been leveled now with true multitasking, so the bus drivers see no problem in interchanging the roles. They are anyway adept at doing this better than current airlines pilots.
They have also been emboldened by the recent trend of former waiters/waitresses/cleaners turning up as cabin crew on few low cost airlines after getting thoroughly painted. They are also encouraged in this after few former kingfisher pilots started applying for luxury bus licenses. The logic is simple that if airlines pilots can encroach in bus segment, whey not other way.
Our correspondent reached out to AirAsia, but they are very busy trying to lift off before government change on 16th may. They have also cut down on press communication unless it is to announce X% cheaper offer compared to others.