Vistara Expects Ops To Normalise Soon Post Pilots, Management Town Hall

Vistara began flight ops in January 2015 (File).

New Delhi:

Vistara expects to resume normal flight ops by the weekend, company sources told NDTV Wednesday evening, hours after CEO Vinod Kannan and senior members of his management team held a virtual town hall with striking pilots.

Company sources said the pilots had been promised a course correction to address concerns in the wake of Vistara’s merger with Air India. This, sources said, will include improved growth potential once the merger is complete and better rostering of pilots, which is expected by May.

The pilots have been told that opportunities to earn more will exist post the merger.

Almost 100 per cent of the pilots have now accepted the new contract, sources said, adding that no protest had been expressed by pilots during the virtual town hall.

Emphasising the point that crisis brought on by pilot shortage is nearing an end, Vistara sources also said only 24 flights were cancelled today compared to the 52 affected yesterday.

The pilots have yet to release a statement from their side.

READ | Vistara CEO To Meet Pilots After Scores Of Flights Cancelled

The airline had earlier said it faced a “significant number” of flight cancellations and delays “due to various reasons including crew unavailability”. It also said it had decided to temporarily reduce the number of flights it operates “to ensure adequate connectivity across our network”.

“We acknowledge and are deeply concerned about the inconvenience this has caused to our customers. Having said that, our teams are working towards minimizing the discomfort to the customers,” the airline said.

Vistara pilots had called in sick to protest the revised salary structure ahead of the merger with Air India. The pilots were sent a revised pay structure over mail and asked to sign on a short notice. The pilots were also warned that those who did not sign would be left out of the merger.

READ | Inside Track Of Vistara Crisis: Why Pilots Called In Sick En Masse

Pilots have complained that their cost to company (CTC) had been reduced in the new contract, in which they are mandated to fly 40 hours as opposed to 70 hours earlier. Sources in the airline, however, said that under the new structure pilots were incentivised to fly more, and that they could, in fact, earn more than they did earlier.

The centre is monitoring the situation and has sought daily reports from Vistara. Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had asked the airline to share the steps they are taking to deal with the inconvenience caused to passengers.

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