Thai Airways, which has lost 40 pilots to other airlines in the first two weeks of 2013, is facing a pilot shortage and is coming up with ways to speed up training and increase its pool of potential pilots.
In 2012, around 70 pilots also resigned from the Thai flag carrier to join other airlines, says a spokeswoman.
"This unexpected loss results in the abrupt pilot shortage in our fleet," she adds.
Thai has a five-year plan to recruit more than 110 pilots each year in order to meet its operational needs. This number aims to replace both the number of retiring pilots as well as those who quit to join other carriers.
Besides conducting road shows to recruit more pilots, the carrier is also working on increasing its pilot pool in the long term.
The carrier is offering junior students from the engineering faculty of selected universities the chance to take a qualifying test. Potential candidates usually have to wait until they complete their degree to do so.
"This process increases number of potential pilots and also allows us to get qualified students in the competitive market before others," says the spokeswoman.
To speed up pilot training, Thai's president Sorajak Kasemsuvan has also reportedly said that he plans to initiate a joint pilot training programme with competitors Bangkok Airways and Thai AirAsia. This will allow the carriers to join forces and not "compete for resources", he adds.
"A joint aviation school, should there be such a policy, we believe it will be a beneficial opportunity for other airlines to learn Thai's standardised training process," adds the spokeswoman.