Wednesday, April 24

Vistara Pilot Crisis: Why Pilots Are On Mass Sick Leaves?

Edited by Hiba Anvar

Recent pilot shortages in Vistara have resulted in the cancellation of several flights. As per reports, Vistara canceled up to 70 flights on Tuesday a day after the airlines cancelled 50 flights.

The crisis of Vistara Airlines intensified due to the unavailability of the pilots. An NDTV report has revealed that the pilots are protesting the terms of a new contract after the decision to merge the airline with Air India. The pilots of the airline have sought sick leave en masse. This move came after the revelation of the salary structure which the airline was trying into implement ahead of its merger with Air India.

As per the email send to the pilots, the airlines have stated that the one who does not sign up for the new pay structure would not be allocated a slot on the upgrade sequence list. The email further stated that they will not be eligible for the one-time bonus promised to pilots.

Those refuse to sign have been warned that they might be excluded from the upcoming merger. Soon after receiving the mail, several pilots called in sick which has led to flight disruption.

The airlines, co-owned by Tata Group and Singapore Airlines on Monday have said that its team is working to stabilize the situation. Over 50 flights were cancelled on Monday and 160 delayed.

The airlines Vistara is in its process of merging the company with Air India post its privatization and Singapore Airlines acquiring a 25.1 percent stake in the once state-controlled airline.

The airlines due to the inconvenience caused to the passengers, said in a statement yesterday, that they have deployed larger aircraft like the B787-9 Dreamliner and A321neo on select domestic routes to combine flights or accommodate more number of customers, wherever possible. “Furthermore, we are offering alternate flight options or refunds to affected customers, as applicable. Once again, we understand that these disruptions have caused immense discomfort to our customers, and sincerely apologise to them for the same. We are working towards stabilizing the situation and will resume operating our regular capacity very soon,” the statement added.

As the Vistara crisis deepens, the center has stepped in to seek out the problem. Civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has sought an immediate detailed report from the airlines regarding the cancellation of the flights and delays. The minister has also asked the airlines about the steps they have taken to deal with the inconvenience caused to passengers.