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Operational turmoil hits Vistara: SIA-Tata joint venture faces pilot shortage and flight cancellations

Vistara, a SIA-Tata venture, cancels 38 flights amid pilot protest & operational issues, affecting major Indian cities.



NEW DELHI, INDIA: Vistara Airlines, a prominent full-service carrier, faced significant operational challenges today, with at least 38 of its flights being cancelled due to a sudden shortage of pilots.

The cancellations majorly affected departures from India’s key metropolitan hubs, with 15 flights from Mumbai, 12 from Delhi, and 11 from Bengaluru failing to take off as scheduled.

This operational hiccup follows a distressing day for the airline and its passengers yesterday, where over 50 flights were axed and approximately 160 experienced delays. Passenger discontent has been vocal, with many taking to social media to share their frustrations over what they described as “hours-long waits” and “poor communication” from Vistara’s end.

In response to the mounting public dissatisfaction, Vistara issued a statement acknowledging the disruption and attributing the flight cancellations and delays to “various reasons including crew unavailability”.

The airline expressed its deep concern over the inconvenience caused to its customers and assured that efforts were underway to alleviate passenger discomfort.

In an attempt to manage the operational crisis, Vistara announced a temporary reduction in its flight operations. To mitigate the impact of the cancellations, the airline has resorted to deploying larger aircraft, such as the B787-9 Dreamliner and A321neo, on selected domestic routes. Additionally, Vistara is offering alternative flight options or refunds to affected customers.

The root of the crisis appears to stem from internal discord, as pilots are reportedly protesting a revised salary structure proposed ahead of Vistara’s impending merger with Air India. The pilots, having received the new pay structure proposals via email, were given a short notice to sign. The airline warned that non-compliance would result in exclusion from the merger process.

In light of the situation, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has intervened, requesting a comprehensive report from Vistara on the flight cancellations and the substantial delays.

The Minister has also inquired about the steps being taken by the airline to address the inconvenience faced by passengers.

Passengers are currently advised to verify their flight statuses with Vistara before heading to the airport to avoid potential waits and inconvenience.

Vistara, a joint venture established in 2013 by Tata Sons Private Limited ( Tata) and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA) — where SIA and Tata hold a 49% and 51% stake respectively, has faced financial challenges throughout its operations, recording losses annually.

The airline’s financial woes have persisted, with the latest figures showing a significant loss in the financial year ending March 2021.

The merger between Vistara and Air India, wherein SIA will acquire a 25.1 per cent stake in Air India from an injection of US$267 million, was announced in November 2022, recently approved by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) with specific conditions, is viewed as a strategic move to create a dominant player in both domestic and international aviation markets.

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DBS can ALWAYS be counted on to “inject” more funds for a bailout. India’s civil aviation minister likely has Piyush on speed dial …

Bye bye CPF money. Thank you SG MIW for always losing our money by investing in rotten branches. Why are they beholden to investing in a sunk crap economy?
Have you seen their road system? That says a lot about the infrastructure.
Really beyond belief.

Airlines may not be able to fly because of global warming. So investments into airlines and related industries should be reduced not increased.

If the Indians can make monies on their own , would they be partnering TH?

Temasek Holdings seeks strategic partners to deploy $5 bn a year in India…19 Jul 2023!!
There goes your CPF money!

Temasek invested in Vistara through the investment in Singapore Airlines Ltd.
There goes your CPF money!
Anyone held accountable?
Gues not, just like FTX!😆😆😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣