Job option for cpl holder is limited

Aviation industry has been vulnerable and fluctuations in business are quite prominent. Industry was booming after privatization till 2006.After that negative graph was adopted to show growth. There was a shortage of pilot and getting a job was easy, so many have opted to become a commercial pilot in pursuit of achieving their dream. 7000 licenses were issued between 2005 -2010, so was nature of potential and media hype about the shortage. Finally bubble has busted newly flown   CPL holders started to realize that  getting a job on the basis of CPL is not a piece of cake anymore, so the idea of “Type Rating” has caught up and grabbed the attention of many desperate job seekers. Now looking at the current scenario after the Kingfisher airline’s termination and cash strapped spice jet, even the “Type Rating” doesn’t guarantee you any job. So today we would like to make an unorthodox comparison between getting type rated vs buying your own aircraft in reference of common parameter such as, time, money, requirements, revenue, and risk. etc. Buying an aircraft is very common practice in the West, so we thought of enlightening   you about this out of the box option of getting associated with flying.

type rating cost


  • Type Rating-It was a viable option but considering the market scenario again you need to shell some handsome amount as much as the cost of CPL training. The cost of Type Rating on an average would be around 25-35 lacs.
  • Owning an aircraft-It is extremely rare practice here in India as compared to our western counterparts. It is a fresh and new concept for us but it is trend setting idea. But the pre-conceived notion about buying an aircraft makes us think that it’s a costly affair. One can have 1/4th share of an airplane (Cessna 172) in just 25 lacs.


  • Type Rating- If you have a valid CPL, Type rating is going to take around 3-4 months inclusive of visa, training and endorsement. Time is subjected to vary depending upon the candidate, training centre and country you are going to.
  • Aircraft purchasing-If you have made up your mind and want to make your career in aviation and motivated to think out of the spectrum, you need to wait at-least 3-4 months in order to get your hands on your ordered airplane.


  • Type Rating-It is valid for only 3 years and subject to expire if not renewed. Below is the renewal and period of renewal.
  • Aircraft purchasing-An aircraft is valid as long as its airworthiness certificate is valid. If you are keeping it airworthy it’s good to go.

Risk factor-

  • Type Rating-Risk factor is High keeping in mind the current industry position and experienced Kingfisher’s pilot getting a job after type rating still a herculean task.
  • Aircraft purchasing-Having your own aircraft is an asset and dealing in one is a risky affair, but there are options from you can generate revenue. So risk is

Recurring cost-

  • Type Rating-In order to keep your Rating current and valid you need to further spend 6-7 lacs annually, otherwise your validity will be expired.
  • Aircraft purchasing-In India there is a famous saying buying and elephant is much than keeping and feeding it. This quote seems apt as maintenance, parking, operating cost would cost you around 24 lacs but your share would be 6-7 lacs if have bought 1/4th share of it.

*Note-in case of no flying.

Expected Returns-

  • Type Rating-If you are working and lucky enough to get a job in a schedule airline your earnings would be around 20-30 lacs depending upon the airline.
  • Aircraft purchasing-After buying you would have plenty of options to choose from in order to generate revenue, but the most common of all is aircraft rental. One can generate 40-45 lacs after fuel maintenance, operating cost and fuel cost, so 1/4th profit share would be around 10 lacs.

*Noterevenue calculated on a monthly rental of 30 hours.

Image Courtesy-Sven De Bevere