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

Vistara to stabilise flight operations, over 98 per cent pilots signed new contract, said CEO Vinod Kannan.

Edited By: Vaidehi Jahagirdar New Delhi Published on: April 07, 2024 18:25 IST
Vistara, Vistara CEO
Image Source : PTI (FILE) Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan

Amid simmering discontent among Vistara pilots, its CEO Vinod Kannan said, concerns which were raised by the pilots have been taken into consideration and are being reviewed by the airline.  Citing the stretched roster for pilots as the significant reason for the operational disruption (causing a temporary reduction in flight operations), Kannan said the situation would be normalised by May as the airline carrier is looking to review the current rostering system. 

In an exclusive interview with news agency, the Vistara CEO said, concerns were raised around rostering during a town hall. However, the pilots were assured that the airline would look at how it (the rostering process) can be reviewed.

Speaking further over the current situation, he said dialogue will take place, and we will have to adopt one rostering system that the majority are ok with. 

"Within the pilot cohort, pilots can bid for different lifestyles on the airline's advanced rostering system. Among others, some like to fly more and some don't want to have layovers. But obviously, we cannot have different rostering systems for different groups of pilots."

"We are going to go back to the pilots to seek their views and inputs to see how it (rostering system) is working, and what their thoughts are... whether they should be amended, whether they should be improved," he added. 

It is pertinent to note that of the airline's total workforce of around 6,500 people, 1,000 are pilots.

Meanwhile, during the interview, the Vistara Chief also refuted any unusual spike in attrition. Responding to a question about some first officers quitting and joining other carriers, he said, "The airline has not seen any unusual spike in attrition."

"We always have a certain level of attrition, which happens..., including for pilots. We have not seen any unusual spike compared to that...we are continuing to hire," Kannan added. 

Earlier, on the question of pilots facing uncertainties due to the proposed merger with Air India, Kannan stressed that the merger is about scale and growth.

In a statement on Saturday, Kannan said more than 98 percent of the pilots have signed the new contract.

"We are aware that some pilots have some concerns and queries regarding the contract. We are engaging with them to clarify and resolve the same. However, this has not caused any visible spike in attrition amongst pilots," he added. 

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