Pilot Shortage Behind Vistara Flight Disruptions: Aviation Ministry Seeks Clarity on Pay Cuts

On Tuesday morning, approximately 15 flights from Mumbai, 12 from Delhi, and 11 from Bengaluru were cancelled, accompanied by several delays

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X: @the_news_21

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has instructed Tata Group’s full-service airline, Vistara, to furnish a comprehensive report regarding the recent spate of flight cancellations and delays, as reported by ANI on Tuesday. Vistara finds itself amidst pre-merger turbulence, with a staggering count of 38 flight cancellations on Tuesday morning alone, attributed to a shortage of pilots. Since mid-March, numerous pilots have been reporting sick, following the airline’s decision to overhaul their salary structure, which, according to them, would significantly reduce their take-home pay.

On Tuesday morning, approximately 15 flights from Mumbai, 12 from Delhi, and 11 from Bengaluru were cancelled, accompanied by several delays. Passengers vented their frustration on social media platforms over the inconvenience caused by these disruptions.

The Pilot Predicament

The catalyst for the mass sick leave among Vistara pilots traces back to March 15, when the airline dispatched an email instructing pilots to endorse their revised salary structure. With the impending merger with Air India, Vistara’s workforce will be assimilated into Air India’s pay framework, potentially impacting their minimum assured flying pay. Reports from the Indian Express indicate that pilots will now be guaranteed payment for 40 hours, a notable decrease from the previous 70 hours stipulated in their contracts with the airline.

Consequently, in response to the ultimatum issued in March, a significant number of pilots commenced taking sick leave, consequently leading to a cascade of flight cancellations and delays.

Vistara-Air India Merger

Tata Group’s plans to integrate Vistara into Air India are slated for completion by 2025, marking a pivotal milestone in the ongoing consolidation of airlines within the Tata conglomerate. The conglomerate has been orchestrating the amalgamation of its budget carriers, including Air India Express and AIX Connect (formerly Air Asia India). Upon the conclusion of both mergers, the Air India group will encompass a comprehensive spectrum of carriers, comprising the flagship carrier, Air India, alongside a low-cost alternative, Air India Express.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Vistara faces flight disruptions due to a pilot shortage amid pre-merger changes, with 38 flights canceled in one morning. The Ministry of Civil Aviation demands a detailed report as pilots protest salary restructures ahead of the merger with Air India, which could see their guaranteed pay hours reduced. The Tata Group’s airline consolidation aims for completion by 2025, including Vistara and Air India Express 🛫🚨.

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