April 18, 2024

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Several pilots have reported being sick on duty over last few days

The crisis at Vistara Airlines intensified today with dozens of flights cancelled because of the non-availability of pilots who, sources say, are protesting the terms of a new contract after the decision to merge the airline with Air India.

Vistara pilots have sought sick leave en masse, a move prompted by a revised salary structure that the airline was trying to implement ahead of its merger with Air India, a report by NDTV Profit said.

In its email to pilots – which has been reviewed by NDTV Profit – Vistara said that those who do not sign up for the new pay structure would not be allocated a slot on the upgrade sequence list.

They would also not be eligible for the one-time bonus promised to pilots, the email said.

Such pilots will be deemed to not be interested in working with Air India. “Consequently, they will not be included in the transition to Air India,” Vistara further said.

Several pilots called in sick after receiving the email, leading to flight disruptions, sources said.

The airline, co-owned by Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, yesterday said its teams are working to stabilise the situation.

“We have had a significant number of flight cancellations and delays in the past few days due to various reasons including crew unavailability,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

“Our teams are tirelessly working to stabilizing the situation. We regret the inconvenience caused to our valued customers due to these disruptions,” the spokesperson added.

While 50 flights were cancelled and over were 160 delayed yesterday, about 38 flights have been cancelled this morning.

Vistara is in the process of merging with Air India post its privatisation and Singapore Airlines acquiring a 25.1 per cent stake in the once state-controlled airline.

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