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Vistara chief on when flight disruptions will end, pilot contracts and what caused crisis: ‘We are very sorry’

Vistara chief on when flight disruptions will end, pilot contracts and what caused crisis: ‘We are very sorry’


Vistara expects operations to normalise by May amid flight disruptions which were mainly caused by a stretched roster for pilots, the airline’s CEO Vinod Kannan said as per news agency PTI. He also said that concerns which were raised by the pilots have been taken into consideration and are being reviewed by the airline. 

Vistara Flight Disruptions: A Vistara passenger aircraft lands at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport in Mumbai, India. The airline, which operates more than 300 flights daily, has cut 20-25 daily flights, Vistara CEO said.(Reuters)

“It might be a reduced schedule… we are back to normal as far as the flights that are operating… the need to cancel flights at short notice will not happen after this weekend,” he said after the airline cancelled several flights earlier this week due to the non-availability of pilots. The carrier cancelled more than 125 flights over three days from April 1, it was reported. 

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When will Vistara flights’ disruptions end?

The need to cancel flights at short notice will not happen after this weekend, he said as the buffer situation in terms of pilots is stabilising and there is no cause for concern about last-minute flight cancellations.

“From Monday, whatever flights are in the system, they should be operating,” he said assuring travellers that flights will not be cancelled.

Although the airline, which operates more than 300 flights daily, has cut 20-25 daily flights, he said.

“We are now working on the schedule for May, and we will try and optimise it to come to usual kind of operations… (we) expect normal operations (by May),” he said, adding, “On behalf of all the 6,500 staff, we are very sorry for what happened. We all stand ready to bring the situation back to normal and it is happening quite fast.”

Vistara’s apology to customers

CEO Vinod Kannan said, “I don’t think there is an apology to the pilots but customers of course… It is a question of more being aware about what their feedback is, we are reviewing their concerns and will discuss it. We have been reaching out to all customers (affected), apologise for the disruptions.”

The airline will continue to have discussions with pilots to address their concerns, he said, adding, “From a rostering perspective, we have stretched the rosters for pilots quite significantly… it means that when there were disruptions like…bird strikes, engineering issues, there was not enough buffer or resilience which we can call on.”

“Therefore, this caused the whole roster to go haywire… that is the main reason (for flight disruptions),” the Vistara chief asserted.

Did new contracts for pilots cause the crisis? Vistara chief’s response

On new contracts for pilots, the Vistara boss said that this was not the main critical reason for the flight disruptions. He said, “To be fair to my pilots, we had to call pilots on short notice, pilots on standby, off, and many of them actually rallied, and we could operate some of these flights. Otherwise, the situation would have been even worse… we did receive a lot of support from the pilots.”



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