Air India Considers Sending Pilots to Assist Struggling Vistara

By Consultants Review Team Thursday, 11 April 2024

According to news agency PTI, Tata-owned Air India intends to help Vistara by sending a group of first officers qualified to pilot the narrow-body A320 series of aircraft. These pilots will be deputated to Vistara awaiting the required regulatory permissions. The airline is now experiencing operational delays as a result of several pilots quitting.

According to the sources cited in the paper, there may be a little over thirty narrow-body pilots assigned to Vistara. They mentioned that it would be the first time that Vistara will receive a deputation of Air India pilots to fly narrow-body aircraft.

Already, about twenty-four Air India pilots—six of them commanders and eight first officers—are deputed to fly Vistara's wide-body Boeing 787 aircraft. On April 7, Vistara declared that it will be canceling between 25–30 flights daily in an effort to lessen the effects of a pilot shortage.

"We are deliberately reducing the number of flights we operate by around 25–30 per day, or about 10% of the capacity we were using. Vistara, which normally runs around 350 flights per day, stated in a statement that "this will take us back to the same level of flight operations as at the end of February 2024."

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had earlier given the airline permission to boost flight operations in summer by 22% weekly over the winter.

Fare hikes are anticipated as a result of Vistara's flight disruptions, especially on metro routes. Vistara trails only IndiGo, which runs 19 flights per day, with around 18 flights per day on the Delhi–Mumbai route.

About 6,500 people work for Vistara, a joint venture between the Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, of which 1,000 are pilots and 2,500 are cabin staff. With a fleet of 70 aircraft, comprising 10 Airbus A321s, 7 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, and 53 Airbus A320 neos, the airline is in the process of merging with Air India.

According to reports on Tuesday, a 20–25% increase in domestic airline costs is anticipated for the forthcoming summer season as a result of Vistara flight disruptions and rising demand for air travel.

Spot costs on certain routes increased by up to 39% between April 1 and 7, according to a research done by the travel website ixigo, compared to March 1 through 7. Notably, one-way spot rates jumped by 39% for flights from Delhi to Bengaluru and by 30% for flights from Delhi to Srinagar.

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