Working On War Footing, 98% Pilots Have Signed New Contract: Vistara CEO

Working On War Footing, 98% Pilots Have Signed New Contract: Vistara CEO

Mr Kannan said more pilots are being hired.

New Delhi:

Crisis-hit Vistara has said it hopes to stabilise its operations by this weekend, insisting that 98% of its pilots have signed the new contracts with the revised salary structure which had led to several of them calling in sick and causing flight cancellations.

The airline’s CEO, Vinod Kannan, also apologised for the inconvenience caused to customers and acknowledged that some pilots have concerns regarding the contract. 

“In the light of the recent disruptions in our network owing to various operational reasons, we acknowledge and are deeply concerned about the inconvenience this has caused to our customers. We would like to again clarify that these disruptions were due to the cascading effect of a multitude of factors… Having said that, we acknowledge the inconvenience this has caused to our customers and sincerely apologise to them for the same,” he said in a statement on Saturday. 

Claiming that the full-service carrier has adequate crew for normal operations, Mr Kannan said the airline was challenged because it was operating “on a high utilisation”.

“We are addressing this on a war footing. Hence, we are continuing to hire more pilots and are also carefully scaling back our operations slightly to provide much-needed resilience, and a buffer in the rosters,” the CEO said.

On the customer front, he said, “We have also deployed larger aircraft like our B787-9 Dreamliner and A321neo aircraft on select domestic routes to accommodate more customers, wherever possible. Furthermore, we are reaching out to all customers affected by the delays and cancellations over the last weekend, to offer relevant refunds and compensation.”

Mr Kannan claimed that the airline’s on-time performance has improved in the past three days and said that it hoped to stabilise its operations for the rest of April by this weekend.

“With reference to concerns being raised regarding the new pay structure of our pilots, we would like to clarify that over 98% of pilots have signed the new contract. Having said that, 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,” the CEO said.

The carrier had cancelled over 125 flights in three days starting Monday and pilots have said that they are flying at the “edge of their maximum flight duty limitations”, which was causing major health issues and leading to “everyone falling sick frequently”.

The revised salary structure ahead of the airline’s merger with Air India – both brands are under the Tata stable – has also caused consternation among the pilots. Under the new structure, salaries of junior co-pilots will go down from Rs 2.35 lakh per month to Rs 1.88 lakh because they will be mandated to fly only 40 hours instead of the earlier 70. 

Sources had said those who opted to fly a higher number of hours could earn even more than they made earlier. 

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *