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AI-Vistara merger: Fitment of over 7,000 staff to be complete in June

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NewsDrum Desk
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New Delhi, May 13 (PTI) More than 7,000 employees of Air India and Vistara have been assessed and their fitment will be complete in June as the merger process of two Tata Group-owned airlines progresses, sources said on Monday.

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Air India CEO and MD Campbell Wilson along with Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan on Monday held a one-and-a-half-hour long townhall meeting with the employees of both carriers about the proposed merger.

Air India and Vistara together have more than 23,500 employees.

At the phygital meeting, Campbell said more than 7,000 staff have been assessed and their fitment will be completed in June, as per the sources.

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The roles and responsibilities of these employees, including the flying staff, will be clear by the end of next month.

Around 120 pilots are already seconded between Vistara and Air India, and the movement of employees will continue between the two carriers through secondment.

To ensure fairness and transparency, the staff have been informed that the organisation structure has been finalised with the help of a global consulting firm, leveraging benchmarking and learning from the overall airline industry, the sources said.

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The plans for fleet expansion, network growth and enhanced service over the next few years have also been taken into consideration while deciding on the organisation structure.

The chiefs assured that the fitment or assignment of existing employees into the new structure is being done on the basis of merit and competency.

Kannan, who is also the chief integration officer for the merger, spoke about the process of integration and the work that has been undertaken so far in anticipation of the merger. He also mentioned about the organisation design process, the fitment of employees and the next steps in the integration journey, the sources added.

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The merger, which will create one of the biggest airline groups, was announced in November 2022. Once the deal is complete, Singapore Airlines will have a 25.1 per cent stake in Air India. Vistara is a joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata Group.

Campbell also spoke about Air India’s vision and plans and the status of the regulatory approvals.

The sources said there will be department-wise townhall meetings in the coming days to apprise the staff about various aspects of the merger.

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Campbell said that customers of Air India and Vistara will have more options and greater choices across the combined airline’s robust worldwide route network.

Employees of the combined airline will benefit from being part of the combined Air India Group with a vision of an accelerated growth path and a stable financial foundation, he said.

The merger is awaiting a nod from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in India.

In March this year, Singapore's competition regulator CCCS gave a conditional nod for the proposed merger. In September 2023, the deal received approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), subject to certain conditions.

Tata Group took over the reins of loss-making Air India in January 2022. PTI RAM IAS MR

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