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Vistara cuts daily flights by 10 per cent to stabilise operations amid pilot woes

On April 1, Vistara said it was reducing operations due to the non-availability of crew and other operational reasons. A day later, aviation watchdog DGCA asked the airline to submit a daily report on flight cancellations and delays.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Published on: April 07, 2024 21:45 IST
Vistara
Image Source : FILE PHOTO Representative image

New Delhi: Vistara on Sunday said it is scaling back its operations by 25-30 flights per day to provide a ‘much-needed buffer in the rosters’ as the full-service carrier strives to stabilise operations amid pilot woes, the airline spokesperson said. The airline, scheduled to operate over 300 flights daily in the summer schedule commencing on March 31, aims for operational stability in April.

The announcement comes a day after the crisis-hit airline's CEO Vinod Kannan stated that 98 per cent of its pilots have accepted the new contracts featuring the revised salary structure which had led to several of them calling in sick and causing flight cancellations.

"We are carefully scaling back our operations by around 25-30 flights per day, i.e. roughly 10 per cent of the capacity we were operating. This will take us back to the same level of flight operations as at the end of February 2024, and provide the much-needed resilience and buffer in the rosters," an airline spokesperson said in a statement.

Cancellations mostly in domestic network

According to the airline,  the cancellations are done mostly in the domestic network and much ahead of time to minimize inconvenience to the passengers. It further said that all the affected passengers have already been re-accommodated on other flights, as applicable, ading that the on-time performance has improved.

"These cancellations are done mostly in our domestic network and much ahead of time to minimise inconvenience to the customers. Also, all the affected passengers have already been accommodated on other flights, as applicable. In line with what we had said earlier, with this, all the changes for the month of April 2024 have been done and the situation has already gotten better with our on-time performance improving for the last few days. Looking ahead, we are hopeful of stable operations for the rest of the month and beyond," the spokesperson added.

Vistara pilots call sick

Vistara, a joint venture between Tatas and Singapore Airlines, has a total of 6,500 staff, including 1,000 pilots and 2,500 cabin crew.  The airline is in the process of merging with Air India. Over the weekend of March 31 to April 1 period, Vistara had a number of disruptions. Aviation regulator DGCA asked the airline to submit a daily report on flight cancellations and delays. 

Earlier this week, a significant number of Vistara pilots had taken sick leave following the announcement of new salary rules, which coincided with the merger with Air India. The pilot shortage issue stemmed from pay cuts implemented after new flying hours regulations came into effect recently. Due to crew shortages earlier this week, the full-service carrier experienced severe operational disruptions and numerous flights were cancelled.

On Friday, Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan said that a stretched roster was the key reason for the flight disruptions. Some sections of the pilots have also raised concerns about the new contract that will result in pay revisions ahead of the airline's proposed merger with Air India.

(With agencies input)

Also Read: Vistara to review rostering system with pilots amid flight disruptions: CEO Vinod Kannan

Also Read: Vistara to stabilise flight operations, over 98 pc pilots signed new contract: CEO Vinod Kannan

 

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