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Vistara Crisis: DGCA seeks daily report from airline

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Vistara Crisis: DGCA seeks daily report from airline

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Vistara announced reducing operations due to non-availability of crew and other operational reasons. File.
| Photo Credit: V.V. Krishnan

Aviation watchdog DGCA has asked Vistara to submit a daily report on flight cancellations and delays, and the situation is also being monitored by the Civil Aviation Ministry, amid non-availability of pilots causing flight disruptions for the airline.

A day after the carrier announced reducing operations due to non-availability of crew and other operational reasons, sources on April 2 said some commanders as well as first officers of its A320 fleet are also reporting sick to protest pay revisions due to signing of new contracts.

The officials of the DGCA are also monitoring the situation to ensure compliance with requirements for providing facilities to passengers in case of flight cancellations and delays.

This is to minimise the inconvenience to passengers, the regulator said.

On Tuesday, the Civil Aviation Ministry said it is monitoring the situation of Vistara flight cancellations.

“However, flight operations are managed by Airlines themselves. Airlines have to comply with DGCA norms to ensure passenger facilitation in case of cancellation or delay of flights,” the ministry said in a post on X.

Many passengers have taken to social media to complain about flight delays and cancellations.

In recent weeks, discontent has been simmering among pilots at Vistara, which is in the process of getting merged with Air India, following the new contracts wherein there are concerns that fixed pay component is getting reduced and there is more flying-linked incentive in the salary structure.

Also read | Merger pangs: Vistara gives ultimatum to pilots over new pay

The new contracts that will bring parity between pilots of Vistara and Air India have been introduced as part of the ongoing merger process.

Vistara is a joint venture between Tata Group and Singapore Airlines.

Many first officers of Vistara’s A320 fleet have been reporting sick in the past few weeks and on Monday alone, around 50 flights were cancelled and many were delayed as there were not enough pilots to operate flights.

The sources said that now some commanders of the A320 fleet are reporting sick.

Vistara has a fleet of 70 planes comprising 63 aircraft from A320 family and 7 wide-body Boeing 787s. As per the summer schedule, which started from March 31, the airline is to operate little over 300 flights daily.

In a statement on Monday, Vistara said it had a significant number of flight cancellations and delays in the past few days due to various reasons, including crew unavailability.

“We have decided to temporarily reduce the number of flights we operate, to ensure adequate connectivity across our network,” the airline had said and also apologised for the disruptions.

The airline has also decided to temporarily reduce the number of flights it operates, to ensure adequate connectivity across its network.

Further, the airline has deployed larger aircraft like B787-9 Dreamliner and A321neo on select domestic routes to combine flights or accommodate more customers, wherever possible.

In the ongoing summer schedule, Vistara will be operating 25.22% more weekly flights at 2,324.

Sources had said, the number of flight cancellations are expected to go up and touch 70 on Tuesday.

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