Transaero is looking to source up to 80 first officers from abroad once the Russian government has endorsed legislation allowing domestic airlines to hire foreign commercial pilots.
Appropriate amendments to the country's air code are expected to come into force quickly following approval by the parliament.
Russian carriers will then be able to recruit up to 200 foreigners as first officers in each of the five years until 2019.
Transaero general manager Olga Pleshakova says the airline plans to avail of this quota for filling up to 80 cockpit vacancies initially.
“We've received around 70 applications during our latest job fair. Some are from US, Canadian, and French citizens,” she says. “But first of all, we'll select qualified Russian-speaking pilots. There is a great number of them in Ukraine and other former Soviet states.”
The carrier is also making preparations for staffing four Airbus A380s, the first of which is scheduled for delivery next year.
“Jointly with Airbus, we'll start a special training programme in the autumn,” says Pleshakova. “It will involve our cockpit crews piloting Boeing 747s and 777s, as well as newly recruited foreign pilots with an appropriate experience.”