Vistara Airlines Slashes 10% Capacity, Planning To Source Pilots From Air India | Aviation News


Vistara Airlines recently announced a reduction in its operations by about 10% of its capacity, citing flight cancellations and delays that have disrupted services for several days. This decision translates to approximately 25 to 30 fewer flights daily, primarily within its domestic network. The airline’s spokesperson explained that these adjustments aim to minimize inconvenience to passengers and restore operational resilience, similar to levels seen in February 2024.

“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 Vistara spokesperson told ANI.

This proactive approach underscores Vistara’s commitment to customer satisfaction amidst operational adjustments, he said.

Affected passengers have been promptly re-accommodated on alternative flights, with all necessary changes already implemented for April 2024. The airline has reported a noticeable improvement in on-time performance in recent days and anticipates stable operations moving forward.

Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan issued an apology for the disruptions, attributing them to a combination of operational challenges. While acknowledging adequate crew availability for normal operations, Kannan mentioned that high utilization rates had posed challenges. He expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to customers and highlighted ongoing efforts to address pilot concerns and queries regarding revised contracts.

Pilot Protests and Contract Concerns

The recent disruptions coincide with Vistara’s merger with Air India, leading to protests among pilots over revised contracts. Notably, junior co-pilots are facing a salary cut under the new agreement, raising concerns and queries among pilot groups. Despite these challenges, Vistara reports that 98% of pilots have signed the new contracts, with ongoing engagements to resolve remaining issues.

Vistara To Source Pilots From Air India 

The Tata Group airline is planning to address the crisis at Vistara by sending first officers from Air India on deputation, but this may not provide an immediate solution, as per sources familiar with the matter, as per reports. Pilots from Air India on deputation will need to undergo a 21-day ground training, including simulator and line training, as per Directorate General of Civil Aviation norms. Additionally, they will have to complete a compulsory training period of nearly 40 days. Both Vistara and Air India, being Tata Group airlines, are involved in this process, but any pilot exchanges for operational duties can only commence after the formal training procedures are fulfilled.

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