Flying Clean and Quiet : Electric Pipistrel Velis Electro

Siddharth Ganesh

01 Aug 2022


You push the plane out of the hangar by hand, strap in, run through the entire checklist – remember you have no engine really to crank and start, and once that's done, get your clearance, and all you do is flick a power-on switch, and off you go. You do a brief run-up before taking off; it takes not more than a few minutes to get airborne.


The Pipistrel Velis Electro is the world's very first fully electric airplane to receive a Type Certification (From EASA), enabling flying schools to use the aircraft for flight training and issue of licenses. The first all-electric PPL has reportedly been issued to a Swiss trainee pilot. I first flew the type in the early months of 2022 and ever since have been carrying out different training and instruction on it, a conversion program, so to say, as per EASA. The aircraft itself flies just like its conventional counterpart with power, but upon bringing the ability to idle, it turns into a glider. As a new pilot on this, it's slightly challenging to slow her down and descend on profile due to its high lift-drag ratio, you've got to be patient initially, but after a couple of flights, you'll see it's an enjoyable plane to fly given its high maneuverability.


The aircraft's foundation is two high-voltage liquid-cooled Lithium batteries that power the electric motor through a power controller; which we call the 'engine' collectively on the Velis. The Battery management system (BMS), monitors and controls various parts of the battery. So, you don't have several hundred pieces moving against each other like on a Lycoming or Continental piston engine. What happens, then? You have barely any noise, another big win for the Velis. Even while flying, it's much like how a bee buzzes, and at times, you can't really hear it at all when it's a couple of thousand feet above you, just sight. The Velis can operate in cold, hot, and rain.






So, the difference in training as such is for those who come to get rated on the Velis Electro and begins with a flight to the training area, just basic handling, steep turns, and some stalls. We then move on to circuits to get them to land the aircraft safely within its rather tight flap operating speed restrictions. Once that's done, we move on to emergencies while in the circuit, followed by more intense ones in the training area, and this is where things take a different path, it's not your conventional combustion engine. So, if you did have an electrical fire inside the cockpit and turn off the master as you'd do on a traditional plane, you'd kill the engine here.


The aircraft power setting is read in kW (kilowatt) and has a corresponding RPM. After the power check on take-off, we verify if 50kw is deliverable and then reduce it to 48kW for the climb, which is the max continuous. For the cruise part, you could fly at 20kW or 25kW. The more conservative you are, the slower you go but increase your endurance. A planned descent can be made at idle. In terms of traffic circuits, you can go power idle on late downwind and quickly make it.




The Big Question Endurance


In brief, a local training flight with cruise power between 20 and 25Kw gives you between 45-50 mins of flying time at a cruise speed of 90 knots without 10 min additional reserve. For a cross-country flight with the same power setting, you get anywhere between 27-32 min of flight time with an extra account of 30min. If you plan to do just circuit training, you'll probably get around seven shots at it. Of course, it depends on how large the circuit is for that airport. One factor to consider, however is the battery operating limitation temperature which is 38C OAT and makes it unsuitable for use in most of India during summertime.

The aircraft's endurance is battery limited, it's much like your mobile phone; it's recharged to 100% before the flight through a charging unit (takes approx. 2 hours to charge fully) and drains depending on how much load you put on it. A 1000ft climb at 48Kw can drain nearly 8% (which is quite a lot), so if you climb from the ground to 2500 ft with two people on board, you're already at around 80-81% on the remaining state of charge. As batteries get older, their state of health also goes down and affects the state of charge likewise.






Every time I get in, I have to tell myself that the functioning and emergencies are handled differently, so I'm recharging my situational awareness before every take-off on this aircraft. The two predominant areas where serious problems could occur are from either the batteries or the engine. Something you really don't want is a battery fire, they're lithium and hence cannot be extinguished; you can only delay and slow the burning with an extinguisher, that too only on the ground; if in the air, just ditch immediately. You could also have over currents and voltages across the batteries or a coolant line failure across the batteries. Regarding the engine, you can again have rising temperatures in the electric motor or controller that could cause serious problems. However, the Pipistrel Velis Electro has an ingenious and reliable warning system. There are two, one digital that even tells you the problem so you know how to diagnose it, and another basic annunciator panel with lights illuminating as a backup. To keep the battery temp within limits,, you have a coolant line for each. Onto the last part of the difference training, we actually fly the electric cross country, and now we also explore the range and endurance capabilities.



Where does the aircraft fit in Indian flying Institutions?


India has an abundance of solar energy that could make Electric flying 100% emission-free. Electric flying is still in its infancy,, and these aircraft will get several upgrades over the year. Besides, newer models from different manufacturers are already on the horizon, like the electric Diamonds DA40. Nevertheless, flight schools in India should surely eye the type, given the low operating cost, as you completely eliminate the need for fuel. This is particularly important nowadays, given the sky-high prices make up most of the expense. Of course, we can't' use it for the entire VFR training phase, but for the initial training and traffic circuits, it's undoubtedly a winner regarding operating costs and sustainability. The navigation phase can be complemented with the Pipistrel Virus 121, which is on a related type certificate and has basically the exact same airframe powered by a Rotax 912 engine until the next set of fully electric aircraft can make this a reality too. The plane goes for a little over Euro 200,000, rather pricy for its size and range, but you have to consider that you'll never spend a penny on fuel.



Pros and Cons


The pros are sure to overshadow the cons; first and most important, you're being extremely sustainable - absolutely emission-free, and if you're also producing the electricity in a sustainable way, be it solar, wind, etc., you make the entire chain 100% emission-free - something that's very doable in India given its excess solar.

Second, noise, it's a highly silent aircraft given an electric motor powers it, so you don't have to worry about overflying your neighborhood and annoying them. Another vivacious is electric motors are more straightforward than combustion engines, makingakes maintenance easier. 

Cons for the moment are range/endurance. Energy storage in the batteries is still on the lower end, and this limits the flight time significantly, but ccan'treally complain, iit'sthe first step, and so far, so good, iit'llonly get better if yyou'dconsider lithium batteries as a con, then that too.





Specifications  Pipistrel Velis Electro

EnginePipistrel E-811 EASA Type-Certified
Max Power57.6 kW MTOP
Wing Span10.71 m (35.1 ft)
Length6.47 m (21.3 ft)
Height  1.90 m (6.23 ft)
Wing Area 9.51 m2 (102.4 sqft)
Basic Empty Weight (With Batteries) 428 kg (941 lb)
Max Take Off Weight, MTOW600 kg (1,320 lb)
Payload 172 kg (378 lb)
Cruising Speed (at 35 kW)90 KCAS
Takeoff Run (Grass/Asphalt) 246/241 m takeofftakeofftakeoff1 ft)
Service Ceiling3,660 m (12,000 ft)
Endurance50 minutes (Plus VFR reserve)



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Airbus’ Wings of Tomorrow to Undergo Testing in New Filton Facility

Abhishek Nayar

05 Jul 2023

Airbus, a global leader in the aerospace industry, has unveiled its new Wing Technology Development Centre (WTDC) at the Filton facility in the UK. This state-of-the-art facility marks a major milestone in Airbus's commitment to innovation and research, enabling the company to further enhance its wing capabilities.

Airbus' Vision for the Future

Airbus envisions a future where flying is ecologically benign, efficient, and sustainable. To achieve this aim, the company has devoted itself to pushing beyond the boundaries of technological innovations in aircraft design. Airbus aspires to produce aircraft that use less fuel, emit fewer greenhouse gases, and generate less noise pollution by focusing on wing technology. Along with engine optimization, one of the most significant opportunities to enhance fuel efficiency, reduce CO2, and eventually progress towards the aviation industry's objective of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is by rendering wings longer, leaner, and lighter.

The Significance of the Wing Technology Development Centre

The establishment of the Wing Technology Development Centre signifies Airbus's dedication to pushing the boundaries of aviation technology. By investing in advanced research and development facilities, Airbus aims to remain at the forefront of the industry, delivering cutting-edge solutions that enhance aircraft performance, fuel efficiency, and overall safety.  The WTDC expands Airbus' current research and technology base in the UK, which includes the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at Broughton, as well as the ZEROe Development Centre and Aerospace Integrated Research & Test Centre (AIRTeC) at its Filton facility. The Aerospace Technology Institute has awarded Airbus £117 million for Wing of Tomorrow-related research since 2014.

Cutting-Edge Technology for Enhanced Performance

The WTDC will leverage cutting-edge technology to drive innovation in wing design, manufacturing, and testing. By utilizing advanced computational tools, simulation techniques, and materials, Airbus engineers and researchers will have access to powerful resources that enable them to explore new concepts and refine existing designs. This state-of-the-art facility will empower them to develop wings that are lighter, stronger, and more aerodynamically efficient, thereby contributing to improved aircraft performance.

Benefits of Longer, Lighter, and More Slender Wings

Longer, lighter, and more slender wings offer numerous benefits for aircraft. Firstly, they reduce drag, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions. Secondly, they enhance lift generation, allowing aircraft to take off and land more efficiently. Additionally, these wings contribute to increased range, payload capacity, and passenger comfort. By embracing these advancements, Airbus aims to set new standards for sustainability and performance in the aviation industry.

Accelerating Design, Manufacturing, and Testing

At the WTDC, Airbus will expedite the entire process of wing development. The facility will house advanced manufacturing equipment, allowing for streamlined production and assembly. Additionally, it will feature cutting-edge testing facilities, enabling engineers to thoroughly evaluate the performance and durability of wing prototypes. This accelerated design, manufacturing, and testing cycle will enable Airbus to bring next-generation wings to market faster, ensuring that their aircraft remain at the forefront of technological advancement.

Collaboration and Innovation

The Wing Technology Development Centre will foster collaboration and innovation within the aerospace industry. Airbus recognizes the value of partnerships and knowledge-sharing, and the WTDC will serve as a platform for collaboration with academic institutions, research organizations, and industry experts. By working together, these stakeholders can pool their expertise, share best practices, and collectively drive innovation in wing technology, benefiting the entire aviation industry.


"The new Wing Technology Development Centre will help us ground our research in practicality," comments Sue Partridge, Airbus Head of Filton Site and Wing of Tomorrow Programme. Wing of Tomorrow (WoT), our largest research and technology initiative led by the team in the UK, is a critical component of how we provide technology for next generation aircraft wings. We reached a major milestone in the plan last week when our second wing demonstration was produced and handed to the WTDC by the team in Broughton, Wales. It will be ready for structural testing at our Aerospace Integrated Research and Technology Centre (AIRTeC) here."

"It all comes down to preparing our people, technology, industrial system, supply chain, and digital and physical capabilities for next-generation aircraft." We are employing industry partners, as well as the most advanced digital technologies and automation to detect possible technical bottlenecks that might hold us down in the future. When the time comes, the foundations we establish today will enable us to build better and quicker."


Airbus's establishment of the Wing Technology Development Centre in the UK is a significant milestone for the company and the aerospace industry as a whole. This state-of-the-art facility will serve as a hub for innovation, research, and collaboration, enabling Airbus to enhance its wing capabilities and remain at the forefront of aviation technology. With cutting-edge technology, streamlined processes, and a collaborative approach, the WTDC will accelerate the design, manufacturing, and testing of next-generation wings, ultimately contributing to improved aircraft performance and efficiency.

With Inputs from Airbus

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Airbus to Test New Wing Design in Competition with Boeing

Abhishek Nayar

05 Jul 2023

As aviation strives to become more sustainable, manufacturers like Airbus are investing in research and development to revolutionize aircraft design. Airbus aims to develop innovative wing technology that not only enhances performance but also minimizes environmental impact. With this objective in mind, the company is intensifying its testing efforts to lay the groundwork for a new generation of aircraft.

The Need for Innovation in Wing Technology

Wings play a crucial role in an aircraft's efficiency and fuel consumption. By optimizing wing design, manufacturers can significantly reduce drag, improve aerodynamics, and enhance overall performance. As the demand for air travel continues to grow, the aviation industry must seek innovative solutions to address the challenges of increasing fuel efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. The decisions made by either Airbus’ or Boeing’s wing design and production methods, as well as engine developments, will determine aircraft competitiveness far into the second half of the century. According to industry insiders, Airbus plans to spend "high hundreds of millions" of dollars on Wing of Tomorrow. Officially, the research might assist any project, but all eyes are on a replacement for the single-aisle A320, which Airbus has suggested could arrive between 2035 and 2040.

Airbus' Vision for the Future

Airbus envisions a future where aviation is sustainable, efficient, and environmentally friendly. To realize this vision, the company is committed to pushing the boundaries of technological advancements in aircraft design. By focusing on wing technology, Airbus aims to create aircraft that consume less fuel, emit fewer greenhouse gases, and minimize noise pollution.

The Wing Technology Facility in Southwest England

In a significant milestone, British Industry Minister Nusrat Ghani inaugurated a state-of-the-art wing technology facility in southwest England. This cutting-edge facility will serve as a hub for the design and manufacture of longer, lighter, and more slender wings. It will also play a vital role in the development of folding wingtips, a revolutionary feature that enhances aerodynamic efficiency and allows for easier manoeuvring in tight spaces.

Advancements in Wing Design

Airbus' relentless pursuit of innovation has led to remarkable advancements in wing design. Through extensive research and engineering, the company has developed novel materials and manufacturing techniques that contribute to lighter and stronger wings. These advancements enable higher fuel efficiency, increased payload capacity, and improved overall performance. "It's our programme to prepare technologies for the next generation of Airbus aircraft, whatever that is," Sue Partridge, the company's Wing of Tomorrow programme manager, told reporters. The opportunity arises when Boeing researches an elongated, ultra-light concept referred to as Transonic Truss-Braced Wings.

Benefits of Longer, Lighter, and More Slender Wings

Longer, lighter, and more slender wings offer numerous benefits for aircraft. Firstly, they reduce drag, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions. Secondly, they enhance lift generation, allowing aircraft to take off and land more efficiently. Additionally, these wings contribute to increased range, payload capacity, and passenger comfort. By embracing these advancements, Airbus aims to set new standards for sustainability and performance in the aviation industry.

Folding Wingtips: Revolutionizing Aircraft Efficiency

One of the most exciting developments in Airbus' wing technology is the incorporation of folding wingtips. By implementing this feature, aircraft can adapt to different flight conditions and airport requirements. The ability to fold the wingtips reduces the wingspan, allowing for easier parking at crowded gates. Furthermore, this innovation optimizes fuel efficiency during flight, contributing to cost savings and reduced environmental impact.

Overcoming Cost Challenges

While Airbus is making remarkable progress in developing advanced wing technology, cost reduction remains a significant challenge. As with any revolutionary endeavor, initial research, development, and testing involve substantial investments. However, Airbus is actively exploring strategies to bring down costs without compromising safety, quality, or performance. Collaboration with industry partners, leveraging economies of scale, and adopting innovative manufacturing techniques are among the approaches being pursued to achieve cost-effective solutions.

"We need to develop composite technologies that can eliminate weight out of the wing, but they must be affordable and capable of high production rates." Partridge expressed. The best-selling A320/321 and competitive Boeing 737 are both made of aluminium, but designers believe composites could enable future wings to be tapered in efficient new ways. The fundamental barrier is that composite parts are more expensive to produce, a difference that is more difficult to overcome on the low-cost A320 and 737 than on bigger planes currently constructed of composites. Partridge stated that Airbus is in discussions with at least three suppliers about lowering costs and weave parts more efficiently.


Airbus' dedication to advancing wing technology represents a significant milestone in the pursuit of sustainable aviation. By intensifying testing and research efforts, the company is actively working towards the development of an eventual successor to the A320 series. The groundbreaking wing technology, coupled with innovations such as folding wingtips, promises improved efficiency, reduced emissions, and enhanced performance. Airbus' relentless commitment to sustainability is propelling the aviation industry towards a greener future.

With Inputs from Reuters

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Air India-Vistara Merger Will Nave No Adverse Impact on Competition : Tata group

Radhika Bansal

05 Jul 2023

Tata Sons-run domestic airlines Air India and Vistara have conveyed to the antitrust regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) that a proposed merger of the two will not impact competition adversely as rivals are present on most routes that the combined entity will fly, according to a report. The CCI’s decision to review the Air India and Vistara merger will not have any material business impact, although it could delay the process, sources told The Economic Times.

Earlier, CCI had issued notice to the two airlines seeking reasons on why a probe of the impact of the merger should not be initiated. According to competition law, the antitrust body has the power to do a thorough investigation before giving the green light for a merger or acquisition (M&A) in case there are concerns about possible anti-competitive practices about the deal.

If the deal sees the light of day, it will make Air India the country's largest international carrier and second-largest domestic airline. Air India, which Tata Group took over last year, wants to modernise its fleet, operational systems and revenue management.

As the Tata Group plans to put its airlines in sync with each other and consolidate operations, it has come under the regulator's lens. Thus, the two airlines have not been given the expedited permissions sought by them. Moreover, the regulator has asked the two airlines why an investigation of the impact the merger would have on the industry not be conducted, the report said.

“Anti-trust regulators around the world examine the impact on competition through an origin and destination (O&D) approach to identify relevant market… if we take a look at most busy markets, the combined entity of Air India, Air India Express and Vistara will have enough competition to restrain market power,” ET quoted a source saying.

Impact of the Merger

The combined Air India group will have 49% of the total flights on the Delhi-Mumbai route. IndiGo, India's largest airline by market share, also has a strong presence on the route with 31% of total flights. Likewise, the Air India group will have a 52% share of total flights on the Delhi-Bengaluru, the second busiest route. IndiGo has a 35% share, the report pointed out citing aviation analytics firm Cirium data.

The Air India group has told the CCI that the cost difference between a full-service and low-fare carrier is low as they operate from common airports and bear similar costs such as fuel, landing and parking charges. The source told the publication that detailed scrutiny by the CCI will ensure that the process will not meet any challenges after the deal’s completion.

The Tata Group is merging Vistara with Air India to create a single full-service airline. Singapore Airlines will have a 25.1% share in the new entity. On the other hand, AirAsia India is moving forward with the process of merging with Air India Express to create a single low-cost subsidiary of Air India. Elaborating on the merger, Air India told the CCI that a full-service and a low-cost airline are not different. They operate from the same airports and use fuel that costs the same, paying similar landing and parking charges as well. Post-merger, Air India will be the only full-service airline operating out of India.

The Role of CCI

As per the competition law, the regulator can probe into the matter before giving the green light for a merger or acquisition in case there are concerns about possible anti-competitive practices in the deal. Section 29 of the Competition Act mentions the procedures for the probe of combinations. In CCI parlance, combinations refer to mergers and acquisitions.

"Where the Commission thinks that a combination is likely to cause, or has caused an appreciable adverse effect on competition within the relevant market in India, it shall issue a notice to show cause to the parties to combination calling upon them to respond within thirty days of the receipt of the notice, as to why investigation in respect of such combination should not be conducted," as per the section.

In case, the regulator is not satisfied with the responses, it can go to the second stage wherein the parties will be asked to make the details of the proposed deal public and comments will be sought. Besides, CCI can seek additional information from the parties before taking a final decision on the deal.

There have also been instances where parties to a combination submitted remedial measures to address anti-competitive concerns and after accepting them, CCI has given its conditional approvals. Additionally, the CCI has the authority to request further information from the parties involved before deciding on the merger.

In November 2013, the CCI approved a proposal by Gulf carrier Etihad to purchase 24% of grounded Jet Airways. The CCI then cited the insignificant increase in market share forecast on India-UAE routes as one of the reasons for the approval.

Full Service & Low-Cost Carriers

Full-service airlines tend to focus on their network of routes rather than looking at profitability on individual routes. For example, a full-service airline like British Airways will continue to serve on a route even if it does not have enough passengers because that route serves as a feeder for the larger network of British Airways services. To operate on different types of routes for a varying number of passengers, full-service airlines operate aircraft of different sizes and capacities. This allows them to cater to the flux in the number of passengers while also keeping their operations efficient.

Low-cost carriers tend to suspend services that do not have enough passengers. In their case, the focus is on the profits made on individual flight routes. Low-cost carriers mostly operate flights of the same design and type, which ensures that they do not have to make maintenance arrangements for different types of aircraft. Another benefit of operating aircraft of the same type is that the cabin crew does not need to be trained for different types of aircraft.

(With Inputs from The Economic Times)

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Emirates Group Launches Recruitment Drive to Fill More than 180 Different Roles

Abhishek Nayar

05 Jul 2023

The Emirates Group, recognized globally for its excellence in aviation and travel services, is embarking on a new phase of expansion. By capitalizing on emerging market opportunities, the Group aims to reinforce its position as a leader in the industry. To achieve this, the Emirates Group is committed to securing the best talent worldwide and leveraging their expertise to propel the organization forward.

The Global Talent Acquisition Drive

Cabin Crew Recruitment

As the face of Emirates and dnata, cabin crew members play a pivotal role in delivering exceptional customer experiences. The Emirates Group is actively seeking individuals who epitomize hospitality, possess strong interpersonal skills, and have a genuine passion for customer service. By joining the Emirates Group's cabin crew, professionals gain access to a dynamic and diverse work environment where they can contribute to creating memorable journeys for passengers. Emirates organizes open days and invite-only events across six continents, visiting hundreds of locations all year in pursuit of the best talent to provide passengers with an unparalleled onboard experience. The hiring process is meticulously planned to be finished in a single day, and candidates are contacted within 48 hours following the evaluation. Emirates' cabin crew community spans over 140 nationalities, speaks around 130 languages, and provides the airline's distinctive services with excellence and empathy as part of the world's largest international airline.

Pilots: Nurturing Aviation Experts

Emirates and dnata place great emphasis on attracting and developing talented pilots. The Group seeks individuals who demonstrate exceptional flying skills, professionalism, and dedication. Through extensive training programs and mentorship opportunities, the Emirates Group nurtures and hones the skills of aspiring pilots, enabling them to excel in their careers and become industry leaders. Emirates will stage a series of open days to attract pilots in the UK and Ireland in August, with stops in Dublin, Manchester, London Gatwick, and London Stansted, after successful events in Budapest, Madrid, and Lisbon in June. An online information session has been scheduled for July 19 at 1 p.m. Dubai time. Emirates' pilots operate one of the world's youngest and most advanced fleets, with 260 all-wide-body Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft flying to six continents, 150 destinations, and all terrains, including the North Pole. Since 2022, the airline has hired over 900 new pilots through its three recruiting programmes, which include Direct Entry Captains, Accelerated Command, and First Officers.

  • A380 Direct Entry Captain: Designed for captains with recent command experience on Airbus fly-by-wire Wide Body aircraft such as the A330, A340, A350, and A380. 
  • Accelerated Command: For experienced Airbus Captains who currently operate narrow-body regional aircraft. 
  • First Officer: Designed for those who have multi-engine, multi-crew aircraft experience, and a valid Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL).

Engineers: Innovators Driving Technological Advancements

To maintain its technological edge, the Emirates Group is actively recruiting skilled engineers who can drive innovation and implement cutting-edge solutions. These professionals contribute to the development and maintenance of state-of-the-art aircraft and ground support systems. The Emirates Group recognizes the importance of continuous learning and offers engineers opportunities to expand their knowledge and expertise through specialized training programs. In July and August, Emirates Engineering will have open days in Australia, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Emirates is looking for 75 Structural Technicians, as well as over 400 positions in aircraft maintenance engineering and engineering support roles, with 260 all-wide-body aircraft in the fleet, the largest retrofit programme in aviation underway in-house, and the A350s and 777-Xs joining the fleet soon.

IT Professionals: Digitizing the Travel Experience

In an increasingly digital world, the Emirates Group acknowledges the significance of technology in enhancing the travel experience. As part of its talent acquisition drive, the Group is seeking IT professionals who can leverage their skills to create innovative solutions. These individuals will work on projects ranging from developing intuitive customer interfaces to implementing advanced analytics for operational efficiency. The Group intends to hire around 400 IT experts with the necessary capabilities for positions in software engineering, DevOps, hybrid cloud, agile delivery, technical product management, the digital workplace, cybersecurity, IT architecture, innovation, and service management.

The Group's IT team works on B2C, B2B, support services, and operations projects for over 40 brands and enterprises in Dubai and throughout the world. Cloud services, robotics, DevOps, biometrics, web and native mobile development, and modern programming languages are among the sophisticated tools, technologies, and patterns used by the team. In collaboration with industry experts, the IT team constantly brings cutting-edge technology and apps to airline operations, creates flexible, user-friendly customer interfaces, conducts in-depth data analysis, and applies machine learning and robots.

Customer Service Agents: Enhancing Passenger Satisfaction

Customer service forms the foundation of the Emirates Group's commitment to excellence. To further elevate passenger satisfaction, the Group is recruiting talented individuals with exceptional communication and problem-solving skills. These agents will engage with passengers, addressing their needs and ensuring a seamless travel experience from check-in to departure. The Emirates Group's customer service jobs are a step in the right direction for individuals who want to work in aviation, engage with people from all over the world, and be a part of an iconic brand and a professional team. The Group is searching for extraordinary people who will go through comprehensive training before joining Emirates Airport Services, dnata, Marhaba, or its contact centres. Customer service representatives can work full-time or part-time and have the freedom to pursue their personal and professional objectives.

Overcoming Challenges in the Labor Market

Despite challenging labor market conditions worldwide, the Emirates Group remains undeterred in its pursuit of exceptional talent. Recognizing the importance of attracting the right individuals, the Group offers competitive compensation packages, comprehensive benefits, and a supportive work environment. By fostering a culture of inclusivity and recognizing the value of diversity, the Emirates Group welcomes applicants from all backgrounds and nationalities.

The Emirates Group's Impressive Employee Count

As of the financial year-end on March 31st, the Emirates Group boasted a staggering workforce of over 102,000 employees. This figure reflects the Group's continuous growth and commitment to attracting skilled professionals across various domains. Throughout the year, the Group successfully onboarded 17,160 individuals in diverse roles, contributing to its robust employee count.


"The Emirates Group has built an extraordinary reputation as an employer of choice and as a trailblazing force in aviation," said Oliver Grohmann, Senior Vice President Human Resources of the Emirates Group. People aspire to be a part of the Group's success story and to live and work in Dubai, one of the world's safest, most multicultural, and most vibrant cities. We received over 2.7 million applications for employment across the firm in the previous fiscal year. To shortlist, select, and respond to applicants in the most efficient and effective manner, we employ cutting-edge technology such as digital assessments, artificial intelligence, and other top-tier recruiting tools. Our priority is to hire the best talent, the brightest brains, and those who are most suited for numerous positions that will support and drive our future development and expansion."


The Emirates Group's ambitious talent acquisition strategy is the cornerstone of its vision for future growth. By actively seeking the best minds and talent worldwide, the Group ensures its ability to innovate, lead, and provide unparalleled services to its customers. Through strategic recruitment efforts, the Emirates Group aims to maintain its position as a global leader in aviation and travel.

With Inputs from The Emirates Group

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Why is Your Pilot Refusing to Fly?

Abhishek Nayar

05 Jul 2023


Last week, Air India flight AI 112, from London to Delhi, made a precautionary diversion to Jaipur due to bad weather. The flight had received permission to resume its journey to Delhi after about two hours. Still, the pilots refused to continue the flight, upsetting 350 passengers who were left stranded till the airline arranged for alternatives. The airline said, "While the aircraft was waiting for Delhi weather to improve and take off, the cockpit crew came under Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL). Pilots cannot operate a flight once they come under the FDTL.”


What is FDTL?


Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL), are guidelines and restrictions imposed on pilots and cabin crew to ensure they are adequately rested and alert while performing their duties. It refers to the maximum amount of time that flight crew members, can remain on duty or operate an aircraft during a specific period. FDTL regulations are designed to mitigate the risks associated with fatigue-related impairments, such as decreased alertness and reduced cognitive abilities, which can compromise flight safety. 

FDTL includes the following key elements:

•       Flight Time Limitations

•       Duty Time Limitations

•       Rest Period Requirements

•       Cumulative Limits

•       Allowances in case of Unforeseen circumstances





Pilot fatigue has long been a source of concern in aviation. American International Airways Flight 808 crashed in 1993 as it approached Leeward Point Field in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Later examinations after the incident determined that extreme pilot fatigue hampered their correct judgment. This was the first occasion in aviation history where the primary cause of a crash was reported as "pilot fatigue." This forced the FAA to reexamine the regulations governing flight duty periods.

The FDP has changed since then, becoming more limited than it was in the 1990s. Modern FDP criteria are based on the most recent scientific research and are subject to change in response to new discoveries. 


According to EASA Air Ops, part ORO.FTL.105:

Flight Duty Period (FDP) means a period that commences when a crew member is required to report for duty, which includes a sector or a series of sectors, and finishes when the aircraft finally comes to rest. The engines are shut down, at the end of the last sector on which the crew member acts as an operating crew member.


What are the Limits?


To maintain uniformity and safety across the aviation industry, regulatory bodies, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), have established guidelines and standards for FDTL. These regulatory bodies collaborate with airlines and industry experts to develop scientifically supported regulations that are regularly updated to reflect advancements in fatigue management research.


DGCA : Flight Time & Duty Period Limitations


Consecutive Day Period (Days) Maximum Flight Time (Hours)Maximum Duty Time (Hours)



DGCA: Minimum Rest Periods (Higher of)

Rest PeriodTime Zones Crossed
12 HoursCrossing <3 Time Zones
18 HoursCrossing 3 -7 Time Zones
36 HoursCrossing > 7 Time Zones


As long as the previous duty period


Maximum Flight and flight duty period (24-hour period)


Single Pilot



Two Pilot Operation




Augmented Crew (Long Haul)




Factors Influencing FDTL



Circadian Rhythm and Time Zones

The human body follows a natural circadian rhythm, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle and affects physiological functions. Crossing multiple time zones can disrupt this rhythm, leading to jet lag and increased fatigue. FDTL regulations consider these factors to ensure crew members have adequate rest and adjustment time before operating flights.


Duration of Duty Periods

Flight duty periods encompass various activities such as pre-flight preparations, flight operations, and post-flight responsibilities. The duration of these duty periods is carefully regulated to prevent excessive fatigue buildup and ensure crew members have sufficient time for rest and recovery.


Rest Periods and Sleep Opportunities

FDTL regulations include mandatory rest periods and sleep opportunities to combat fatigue. The duration of these rest periods is determined by factors such as the length of the duty period, previous rest periods, and time zone transitions.



Type of Operation and Aircraft

Different types of operations and aircraft may entail varying levels of demand and fatigue-inducing factors. FDTL regulations consider the characteristics of the operation, such as long-haul flights or high-density schedules, and the aircraft's capabilities to establish appropriate limitations that promote safety.



FDTL Implementation in Practice


Pre-flight Planning

Before each flight, airlines engage in comprehensive pre-flight planning to allocate appropriate crew members and manage duty time effectively. This process involves assessing various factors, such as flight duration, time zones crossed, and available rest facilities, to develop duty rosters that comply with FDTL regulations.


Adhering to Limitations 

Flight time refers to the actual time spent operating an aircraft, while duty time includes all activities related to flight operations. By adhering to these limits, airlines ensure that crew members are not excessively fatigued during their duties.


Mandatory Rest Periods

Mandatory rest periods provide crew members with dedicated time for sleep and relaxation, enabling them to recover from fatigue and maintain high levels of alertness. Airlines carefully schedule these rest periods to align with duty periods and flight schedules.


Adaptation to Schedule Changes

Flight schedules are subject to changes due to various factors, including weather conditions, air traffic, and passenger demands. Airlines have robust mechanisms in place to manage schedule changes while ensuring FDTL compliance. These mechanisms involve crew rescheduling, additional rest periods, or alternative assignments to mitigate the impact of schedule disruptions.



Managing Fatigue for Enhanced Safety


Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS)

Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS) are proactive approaches that airlines utilize to identify, assess, and mitigate fatigue-related risks. FRMS integrates various strategies, such as fatigue training, data analysis, and crew feedback, to continuously monitor and manage crew fatigue levels. By adopting FRMS, airlines can take a proactive stance in combating fatigue-related issues.


Crew Resource Management (CRM)

Crew Resource Management (CRM) is a training program that emphasizes effective communication, teamwork, and decision-making skills among flight crews. CRM training equips crew members with the necessary tools to recognize and manage fatigue-related challenges during flight operations. CRM fosters a culture of open communication and collaboration and contributes to a safer and more efficient aviation environment.


Benefits of FDTL Compliance


Compliance with FDTL regulations benefits airlines, flight crew members, and passengers. Some key advantages include:

•       Enhanced flight safety through reduced fatigue-related risks.

•       Improved crew performance and decision-making capabilities.

•       Minimized chances of human errors during critical flight phases.

•       Increased passenger confidence in airline operations.

•       Better overall operational efficiency and resource management.



Balancing Safety and Operational Efficiency


Achieving a balance between safety and operational efficiency is paramount in the future of FDTL regulations. While mitigating the risks associated with pilot fatigue is crucial, overly restrictive regulations can lead to increased costs, operational disruptions, and limited flexibility. Collaborative efforts between regulators, airlines, and pilot associations are necessary to strike the right balance and ensure that safety remains the top priority without compromising the industry's viability.


Current Challenges


While current FDTL regulations have contributed significantly to aviation safety, several challenges must be addressed. One key issue is the varying regulatory frameworks across different countries and regions, leading to inconsistencies and potential gaps in safety measures. Harmonization efforts are necessary to ensure a standardized approach that prioritizes safety while accommodating the unique needs of different operations.

Another challenge is the increasing demand for air travel, which pressures pilots to operate more flights within limited timeframes. This can lead to fatigue accumulation and compromise safety. Striking the right balance between operational efficiency and safety is crucial to address this challenge effectively.



The Future


Fatigue Monitoring Systems

Emerging technologies, such as wearable devices and biofeedback systems, enable real-time monitoring of crew fatigue levels. These systems provide valuable data for assessing fatigue risks and making informed decisions regarding duty assignments.


Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics

Artificial intelligence and predictive analytics hold immense potential for optimizing crew scheduling and predicting fatigue-related risks. By analyzing historical data, crew performance metrics, and external factors, AI-powered systems can help prevent fatigue-related incidents.





Flight Duty Time Limitation (FDTL) regulations are vital safeguards that promote safety and mitigate the risks associated with crew fatigue in aviation operations. By establishing maximum duty and flight time limits, providing mandatory rest periods, and incorporating fatigue risk management practices, airlines prioritize the well-being of their crew members and enhance overall flight safety. Adhering to FDTL regulations ensures that flight operations are conducted with optimal levels of alertness, attentiveness, and decision-making capabilities.


With Inputs from

FDTL, FAA, ICAO, DGCA, Aviation News