Air hostess salary in India is very high, making the air hostess job even more exciting. There are many other excellent benefits that an air hostess enjoys.
Traveling to other cities and foreign countries is the major attraction of the air hostess job. Excitement apart, an air hostess’ job also involves hard work, extra efforts, and often, risks involved in tackling unruly passengers and, in worse cases, hijackers or terrorists.
Hence, working as an air hostess is not a job for everyone, regardless of their physical beauty or etiquette.
High salaries, perks, and allowances are other reasons that attract young women and men to work as cabin crew.
Air hostess salary varies according to the airline and whether you are deployed on domestic or international routes. But before that, let's understand the meaning of the words air hostess and cabin crew.
Defining Air Hostess
In some countries, the term ‘air hostess’ is very archaic and derogatory. Hence, there was some disagreement among airline staff over using this phrase to describe their duties and work titles.
After some thought, the term ‘flight stewardess’ for females and ‘flight steward’ for males was coined. Yet, these phrases also had shortcomings: they were directly derived from stewardesses and stewards working on cruise liners.
In our era, the correct term to describe an ‘air hostess’ or ‘flight stewardess’ is cabin crew.
The term is widely accepted worldwide by all airlines. It is standardly used by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an apex body of countries and their flag carrier airlines that functions under the United Nations.
Cabin crew is acceptable since it does not specify the gender of the staff: it is common to both females and males.
Cabin Crew/ Air Hostess Salary
According to figures gleaned from assorted sources, here are the median salaries paid by Indian carriers to their air hostesses/ cabin crew.
Here are the median salaries for entry-level air hostesses to those with two years of experience.
- Air India: Rs.40,000/month
- Vistara: Rs.35,000/ month
- SpiceJet: Rs.30,000/month
- IndiGo: Rs.31.500/ month
- GoAir: Rs.29,000/month
- AirAsia India: Rs.28,000/month
These figures can fluctuate wildly, depending upon the exchange rates of the Indian Rupee with the local currencies of the country where the airline is registered.
These salaries are only indicative. Actual air hostess salary depends upon the number of hours you fly every month and various other factors.
Factors Affecting Air Hostess Salary
If you want to become an air hostess for an airline, here are some salary guidelines. Worldwide, there are two types of airlines.
- Full-Service Carriers (FSCs): These offer complimentary meals, alcoholic drinks, and other beverages to passengers.
- Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs): Passengers flying LCCs get only free drinking water. They have to pay heavily for meals and drinks bought on board the aircraft.
Your salary will be decided according to the type of carrier- FSC or LCC you work for. Further, it will also depend upon which airline you work with- Indian or foreign.
Usually, foreign airlines pay higher.
The fatter pay packet is because the airline needs your specific cultural and linguistic skills to interact with Indian passengers when operating flights to this country.
- FSCs pay higher because it involves serving drinks and meals to passengers.
- They also feature Business Class and First Class cabins where flyers are given extra care by airlines since they pay phenomenally higher than Economy Class passengers. Hence, Business Class and First Class passengers are served better meals and expensive drinks compared to Economy Class.
- Most FSCs operate in-flight Duty-Free shopping on international routes. This means the cabin crew is responsible for promoting stuff sold on board the aircraft and collecting and maintaining records of payments.
- FSCs operate on long, inter-continental routes. This means you get allowances for staying in foreign countries.
- Generally, cabin crew salaries on LCCs are lower. This is because lesser inflight work is involved.
- LCCs carry lesser cabin crew. In fact, they carry only the bare minimum required for passenger safety as stipulated by ICAO.
- Some LCCs flying on international routes also offer inflight Duty-Free shopping. But in most cases, the selection is very limited and hence attracts few takers.
- Few LCCs operate on foreign routes. Hence, the scope for earning an allowance for staying in a foreign country is limited.
Flight Duty Time Limitation
Flight Duty Time Limitation (FDTL) is a standard applied by ICAO and other international bodies governing civil aviation.
Airline pilots, cabin crew, or air hostesses cannot fly more than a specified number of hours per week or month.
FDTL is enforced to ensure pilots and cabin crew are not overworked and do not suffer from fatigue and disorientation caused by long flying hours.
Most airlines pay a fixed salary. But allowances and other perks depend upon how many flying hours you log in per month.
Selecting Airline to Work
India is witnessing a boom in civil aviation. There are several major airlines that crisscross this country and mark India’s presence abroad.
Hence, there is a massive demand for air hostesses/ cabin crew in India. Here are some top employers for air hostesses/ cabin crew in India.
- Air India: The oldest and only airline owned by the Indian government.
- Jet Airways: India’s most successful and oldest privately owned airline.
- Vistara: Joint Venture between Tata Group of India and Singapore International Airlines Ltd. The carrier is officially called Tata-SIA Airlines but is promoted under the brand ‘Vistara.’
- Air India Express: This is the LCC operated by Air India and flies primarily on routes between India and countries of the Arabian Gulf.
- IndiGo: A large LCC in India that operates in selected countries in the Far East and the Middle East.
- SpiceJet: One of the bigger LCCs of India that flies to most destinations within India and select foreign cities.
- GoAir: An upcoming LCC of India with limited operations across India and a handful of foreign destinations.
- AirAsia India: A JV between Tata Sons and Malaysia-based Air Asia Sendirian Berhad, the world’s largest LCC.
Promotions for Air Hostesses/ Cabin Crew
Most women and men join an airline as Flight Attendants. They draw the basic salary we mention above plus various allowances.
After putting in two years of service or completing FDTL requirements, the salary of air hostess/ cabin crew increases.
Promotions are usually given in the following category.
- Flight Purser: After two years of experience as a flight attendant
- Senior Purser: Between three and four years after working as a cabin crew
- Cabin Service Supervisor: More than four years as a cabin crew
- Cabin Service Director: On completing five years or more as a cabin crew
These designations vary according to the airline and are just an indicator of promotions available for air hostesses/ cabin crew.
An air hostess's salary can increase if they change jobs to join an airline that pays higher since they have the required experience.
However, the airline will train you to provide in-flight service according to their standard protocol.
This information should help you know the air hostess salaries or income of cabin crew in India. Selecting a proper airline will enable you to get more salary. Of course, you can join an airline now as an air hostess on a lower salary and move upwards in the echelons of this profession.