Pilot Salary: How Much Money Do Pilot Really Make In India?

Pilot Salary

Welcome to the 3rd topic of our detailed guide on pilot in India.

In this guide, I will try to expose the average pilot salary package in India (in detail).

I’ll also make you understand how some pilots scale their income & why some pilots earn less than their expectations.

Basically, if you’re searching for income details of an airline, commercial or pilot in the Indian Air Force then you’ll love this post.

Let’s get started.


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    Table Of Content

    Average Salary Of A Pilot In India

    Let’s start with the commercial pilot, the average salary of a commercial pilot in India as of 2020 is around ₹1.4 lakh per month which is approximately ₹715 per hour.

    Salary of commercial pilots in India totally depends on the type of role they choose.

    Basically, pilots working in the commercial sector are divided into following three sub-categories.

    1. Passengers Pilots – These pilots are responsible for carrying passengers from one place to another or one destination to another.
    2. Cargo Pilot – These pilots have responsibilities to safely transport goods from one place to another.
    3. Aerosports Pilot – When a particular pilot involved in sports activities like aerobatics, aeromodelling, ballooning, air racing, air rallies, etc… Then he/she is known as an aerosports pilot.

    Now, let’s discuss the salary benefits of a military pilot.

    The average salary of a pilot working in Indian Air Force is somewhere close to between ₹90,000 to ₹94,000 per month.

    Just like commercial pilots, military pilots also have sub-divisions & hence the monthly pay differs from division to division.

    1. Air Force Pilots – Air Force pilots are skilled & expert in flying fighter jets, helicopters etc. Air Force pilots also have powers to handle drones.
    2. Army Pilots – Army pilots mostly consist of pilots that are expert in flying attack helicopters & are suitable for surveillance and reconnaissance.
    3. Navy Pilots – Similar to Air Force & Army pilots, Navy pilots are also responsible for handling mission-based activities & sometimes transporting things from one military base to another.

    Factors Affecting A Pilot Salary Growth

    There are many reasons why the salary of airline employees is not stable across all airline companies.

    And in this section I’m gonna share with you some top factors that affect the salary of a pilot in India.

    Let’s face it.

    1. Seniority/Experience

    One of the most important factors that affect a pilot’s salary in any country is seniority or the years of experience in a particular airline company.

    It is obvious that an airline captain can typically earn more than an entry-level beginner pilot.

    Also, if you stick with the same airline company for years then there are possibilities that your salary will be high as a captain when compared to other newly entered seniors in your company.

    But Yes, if you suddenly switch from one airline company to another because of so and so reason then even after carrying the same experience you’ll get less paid as compared to the previous airline company.

    2. Work Hours Per Month

    The more hours you fly, the more you attract money is the simple moral of this section.

    Airline pilots are paid by the hour for actual hours flown… which means a pilot only gets paid when the aircraft is moving and vice versa.

    Because pilots are not considered productive when they are not flying the airplane… their salary varies & depends on the actual hours they fly per month.

    So, if you manage to fly the aircraft for more hours per month when compared to other pilots in your industry then your salary will be more lucrative.

    Note – This is not applicable in the case of military pilots or corporate pilots as these pilots are paid on a monthly basis.

    3. Type Of The Aircraft/License

    Salary of a pilot also depends on the type of aircraft he/she is operating or flying.

    After successfully securing your commercial pilot license (CPL) you can go for type rating certificate for a specific type of helicopter or aircrafts like Boeing 737 or Airbus A320.

    Different airline companies offer different salary packages for a specific type of aircraft.

    In simple words, the salary package for operating Airbus A320 in a particular airline company will not be the same in another airline company.

    Similarly, a pilot carrying just a commercial pilot license (CPL) will get less salary as compared to the pilot carrying airline transport pilot license (ATPL).

    4. Current Industry

    A pilot salary also depends on the type of industry he/she is working in.

    Every industry has its own higher or lower level of pay scales.

    Some industries pay significantly higher to their employees whereas some industries treat experienced pilots like the beginner ones.

    Like I mentioned before, commercial pilots work in different industries such as some are passenger or cargo pilots whereas some are aerospace pilots…

    … Each industry has its own payscale.

    Here’s an example – Commercial pilots who work for cargo airlines tend to make more than those who work for passenger airlines.

    Commercial Pilot Salary Structure

    We all know that income starts rising as more and more experience you start gaining from a particular industry. Right?

    But, if we talk specifically about the exact number then it’s hard to tell.

    So, in this section I’ve put together the exact figures of salary by experience & job title of a pilot in India.

    Read on…

    Note: The mentioned salary in the table also includes tips, bonus, & overtime pay.

    Job TitleExperienceSalary (per month)Salary (per annum)
    Entry-level PilotLess than 1 year₹1.2 lakhs₹15.2 lakhs
    Early-career Pilot1 to 4 years₹1.3 lakhs₹15.7 lakhs
    Mid-Career Pilot5 to 9 years₹2 lakhs₹24.4 lakhs
    Experienced Pilot20+ years₹5.8 lakhs₹70 lakhs

    1. Entry-Level Pilot

    When you get too lucky & finally get your first job as pilot then you’ll be an entry level commercial pilot.

    In other words, an entry-level flight commercial pilot means a candidate having less than 1 year of experience in this job profile.

    The average salary of an entry-level commercial pilot in India is around ₹1.2 lakh per month i.e approx. ₹15.2 lakhs per annum.

    2. Early-Career Pilot

    When you serve people for more than 1 year but less than 4 years you’ll be on your early career stage.

    At this stage, you’ll be having a decent experience & your salary will start to take an upward curve.

    The average salary of an early-career commercial pilot in India is around ₹1.3 lakh per month i.e approx. ₹15.7 lakhs per annum.

    3. Mid-Career Pilot

    After successfully spending almost 5 to 9 years in this industry you’ll become a mid-career pilot.

    Company will start offering you a decent salary package and you’ll also be able to guide other beginner pilots.

    The average salary of a mid-career commercial pilot in India is around ₹2 lakhs per month i.e approx. ₹24.4 lakhs per annum.

    4. Experienced Pilot

    At this stage, you’ll become a god of operating an aircraft because you’ll be having 20+ years of experience in the aviation industry.

    Your salary package will start touching the sky & you’ll also become a senior captain.

    The average salary of an experienced commercial pilot in India is around ₹5.8 lakhs per month i.e approx. ₹70 lakhs per annum.

    Military Pilot Salary Structure

    So, in the previous section I have shown you the salary packages of a commercial pilot at different levels…

    … In this section I’ll show you how the IAF flying branch officers receive their salary in hand every month.

    Keep reading.

    IAF flying branch officers Gross Monthly Salary consist of various allowances like

    • Basic Salary
    • Dearness Allowance
    • Flying Allowance
    • Kit Maintenance Allowance
    • Transport Allowance.

    In which, Basic Salary again consists of three things i.e

    • PPB (Pay in Pay Band)
    • GP (Grade Pay)
    • MSP (Military Service Pay)

    Let’s start with the Basic Salary,

    So, Basic Salary = PPB + GP + MSP.

    In which PPB is approx. ₹16,000 to ₹ 40,000 per month, GP is ₹5,400 per month & MSP is ₹6,000 per month.

    Thus, the Basic Salary is around ₹27,400 per month.

    Now, let’s discuss the Gross Salary.

    Gross Salary = Basic Salary + Dearness Allowance + Flying Allowance + Kit Maintenance Allowance + Transport Allowance.

    In which Basic Salary is approx. ₹27,400 per month, Dearness Allowance is around ₹30,600 per month, Flying Allowance is close to ₹13,500 per month, Kit Maintenance Allowance is ₹600 per month & Transport Allowance is approx. ₹3,200 per month.

    Thus, the Gross Salary of an IAF flying branch officer is approx. ₹75,300 per month.

    Pilot Salary By Top Recruiters In India

    Airlines companies like Indigo, Air India, SpiceJet, GoAir, AirAsia India, Vistara etc are some of the major recruiters for pilot in India.

    Each airline company introduce their own lower and higher salary pay scale at the time of recruiting a pilot in their crew.

    So, in this section I have put together an average salary package of a commercial pilot in India of each airline company.

    Keep reading…

    Company NameSalary (per month)Salary (per annum)
    Indigo₹2.2 lakhs₹26.6 lakhs
    Air India₹3.4 lakhs₹40.8 lakhs
    SpiceJet₹4.3 lakhs₹51.6 lakhs
    GoAir₹2.9 lakhs₹34.8 lakhs
    AirAsia India₹1.4 lakh₹16.8 lakhs
    Vistara₹3.8 lakhs₹45.6 lakhs

    Pilot Salary By Top Locations In India

    Salary of a commercial pilot also keep changing based on different location or specific areas in India.

    Hence, location is also one of the important factor that affect salary of a commercial pilot.

    Below I have fill up table with an average salary based on some popular locations in India.

    Here’s the deal.

    LocationSalary (per monthSalary (per annum)
    New Delhi, Delhi₹2.3 lakhs₹28 lakhs
    Pune, Maharashtra₹1.7 lakh₹20.3 lakhs
    Mumbai, Maharashtra₹1 lakh₹13 lakhs
    Hyderabad, Andra Pradesh₹83,000₹10 lakhs
    Chennai, Tamil Nadu₹66,000₹8 lakhs

    Now It’s Your Turn

    So, that’s it from my side.

    And, now I’d like to hear from you.

    Have you got the exact information that you where looking for?

    Or maybe you might have any other questions.

    Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

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