The Indian airline Vistara cuts off its flights in protest against changes in pilot salaries – Top Stories (Trending Perfect)


The Tata Group currently owns 51% of Vistara shares, with the remaining 49% owned by Singapore Airlines.

norphoto | norphoto | Getty Images

India's Vistara airline has reduced its flights following cancellations and delays throughout the week, as pilots went on strike over a salary review.

Pilots called in sick to protest the terms of their new contract that will come into effect after the airline's upcoming merger with Air India, causing the airline to cancel 150 flights, while as many as 200 flights have been postponed since Sunday, according to the Daily Mail. ” British. Local media reports.

The Tata Group, which owns 51% of Vistara shares – the remaining 49% is owned by Singapore Airlines, announced the announcement. Its merger with Air India. Singapore Airlines will own a 21.5% stake in Air India.

In the new salary structure, pilots were given fixed pay for a minimum of 40 hours of flight time — previously the minimum was 70 hours — a pilot who has been with Vistara for more than five years told CNBC. He added that pilots used to “get the same amount of money” whether they flew 10 or 70 hours before – even though the minimum was 70 hours.

He said the new structure would reduce salary from about $7,400 (for 70 hours but not always applied) to $5,200 for a strict 40-hour period.

Another pilot told CNBC that more than 200 pilots did not sign the new contracts, but their salaries were reduced under the new contract.

Pilots were given just 15 days to sign the new contract, with Vistara management sending a “threatening” email to defectors who are likely to lose a one-time payment of $4,000 to $5,000 and are deemed not interested in joining Air India once the merger is complete. The first source said.

CNBC has reached out to Vistara for a response.

“We didn't think this would happen. This is something you don't hear from any other Tata company in India,” the source said.

Poor menu planning

Vistara CEO addressed pilots on Wednesday and said flight cancellations and delays were not only due to pilots reporting sick, but also due to planes being grounded and pilots reaching their maximum working hours.

He assured them that the problem would be resolved in the coming days, and apologized for the poor planning of the schedule and the excessive work. Local media He said.

“Business at Vistara is not like what it is at Singapore Airlines. This is very sad to say because Singapore Airlines has almost 50% ownership of Vistara,” the pilot said.

“The rostering practices are very poor. They can change your schedules on a whim. There's no kind of schedule in a pilot's life unless you're on paid leave,” he said. “This is different from Singapore Airlines where they have a union and open dialogue all the time.”

CNBC has not received a response from Vistara regarding scheduling operations.

The concerns highlighted by Vistara pilots “are not isolated incidents but indicate systemic issues extending across the various aviation entities of the Tata group,” the Indian Commercial Pilots Association and the Indian Pilots Guild said in a statement to CNBC on Thursday.

Last month, the DGCA imposed a fine of $95,658 on Air India for violating flight time restrictions. Reuters reported.

Aviation boom

India is on track to become a mainstay in global aviation, says Air India's CEO

“It is common to see personnel and operational changes any time two companies decide to merge… but we do not expect there to be a significant spillover effect from the ongoing event, although there will certainly be disruptions in the short term,” Malcolm Dorson said. , head of emerging markets strategy at investment firm Global X.

He added that airlines need to ensure they have enough pilots to keep up with the high demand.

— CNBC's Naman Tandon contributed to this story.



Leave a comment