Flight schedule will return to normal in 2-3 days: Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan. Company News

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Vinod Kannan, CEO, Vistara

Vistara Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vinod Kannan said during a meeting with pilots that the cancellations have occurred in the last few days due to high pilot utilization and some pilots taking sick leave in late March. Wednesday.

According to sources, he thanked the pilots for accepting the new pay structure proposed as part of Vistara’s ongoing merger with Air India. He assured them of many opportunities for growth and earning potential within the existing airline and the combined entity, and urged them not to worry.

Kannan said flight schedules are expected to return to normal within the next 2-3 days.

On Monday and Tuesday, Vistara was forced to cancel over 100 flights, reportedly due to a specific group of pilots taking sick leave in late March to express their dissatisfaction with the new pay structure.

The airline canceled around 25 flights on Wednesday. It usually operates around 350 flights per day.

According to sources, Kannan said the utilization of pilots was quite high while still remaining within the permissible limit of flight duty time limit (FDTL) rules, leaving minimal buffer space for the airline.

A certain group of pilots went on sick leave at the end of March because the financial year was ending and they wanted to use their pending holidays. He said these factors disrupted the flight schedule.

Kannan assured the pilots that their rostering system would be improved to allow them more rest time and the airline would get more buffer space so that if a similar situation arises in the future, the carrier does not have to cancel flights. He said that the changes in the rostering system will be completely visible by May.

He said the airline would carefully reduce its flight network to maintain lower levels of pilot utilization, thereby ensuring that pilots’ earnings, based on their flying hours, remain unaffected, while allowing the airline to prevent future disruptions. Necessary bandwidth will be provided.

Kannan said that despite the public perception that pilots threw tantrums that resulted in flight cancellations, he knows this is not the case. He thanked the pilots for accepting the new pay structure.

As part of the new pay structure, Vistara pilots will get a fixed salary for 40 hours of flying instead of the existing 70 hours. Additionally, they will be compensated for additional flying hours and will earn additional amounts as rewards based on their years of service with the airline.

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) had given its approval to the merger of Vistara and Air India in March this year. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the merger between the airlines in September 2023.

Kannan had said at a press briefing in January that Vistara was looking at an operational merger with Air India by mid-2025, with hopes of getting legal approval for the same by the middle of the current calendar year.

what did they say

>Flight canceled due to high pilot utilization and pilot leave at the end of March

>The airline will enhance its rostering system, with changes visible by May

> The airline will carefully reduce its flight network to ensure optimal pilot utilization

first published: 03 April 2024 | 9:32 pm Is

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