Amid operational turbulence, Vistara announces reduction in flights

Amid its ongoing operational challenges, Vistara Airlines on Sunday announced a "carefully" planned reduction in its flight operations.
Vistara Airlines
Vistara AirlinesIANS
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Amid its ongoing operational challenges, Vistara Airlines on Sunday announced a "carefully" planned reduction in its flight operations.

The decision, aimed at bolstering operational resilience, entails scaling back around 25-30 flights per day, which translates to roughly 10 per cent of the airline's capacity compared to previous levels.

The move, as announced by a spokesperson for Vistara, is intended to revert the airline's flight operations to levels comparable to those at the end of February 2024.

With these reductions, Vistara seeks to fortify its roster management, ensuring a more robust and sustainable operational framework.

Several flights were cancelled recently following the mass sick leave by pilots to protest against the terms of a new contract following the airline's decision to merge with Air India.

"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," the airline spokesperson said.

"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.

According to sources, Vistara pilots have collectively requested sick leave as a response to the introduction of a revised salary structure by the airline, which is seen as a prelude to its merger with Air India.

Under the terms of the new contract, which comes into effect in April, Vistara pilots will now be paid a fixed salary for 40 hours instead of the previous 70 hours.

This change is in line with a standardised salary structure adopted across Tata Group airlines.

Many first officers fear that this adjustment will negatively impact their earnings. On Tuesday, in response to the recent surge in flight disruptions by Vistara Airlines, a joint venture of Tata and SIA airlines, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), citing various reasons including crew unavailability, has mandated that the airline submit daily reports detailing flights that have been cancelled or delayed.

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