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Vistara sees significant flight cancellations; to cut operations due to non-availability of pilots

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NewsDrum Desk
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Mumbai, Apr 1 (PTI) Vistara will temporarily reduce flight operations due to non-availability of pilots as many first officers have been reporting sick to protest against pay revision, a development that forced the full-service carrier to cancel up to 50 flights on Monday, according to sources.

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The sources in the know said that more flights are expected to be cancelled on Tuesday and the number could go up to 70.

A Vistara spokesperson said the airline had a significant number of flight cancellations and delays in the past few days due to various reasons, including crew unavailability.

"We have decided to temporarily reduce the number of flights we operate, to ensure adequate connectivity across our network," the spokesperson said in a statement.

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The airline apologised for the disruptions but did not provide details on the number of flight cancellations.

The spokesperson also said efforts are being made to stabilise the situation and that operations at regular capacity will resume very soon.

The sources said Vistara has been facing pilot issues since the revision in monthly emoluments for first officers of its A320 fleet following signing of new contracts.

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The spokesperson said teams are working towards minimising the discomfort to the customers. We have decided to temporarily reduce the number of flights we operate, to ensure adequate connectivity across our network.

Further, the airline has deployed larger aircraft like B787-9 Dreamliner and A321neo on select domestic routes to combine flights or accommodate more number of customers, wherever possible.

One of the sources said first officers reporting sick have forced the airline to cancel flights as their salaries have been reduced significantly.

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The source claimed that some components of the salary have been reduced while incentives linked to flying hours have been raised.

Details about the number of daily flights operated by Vistara could not be immediately ascertained.

In the ongoing summer schedule, Vistara will be operating 25.22 per cent more weekly flights at 2,324.

The spokesperson also said alternate flight options or refunds to affected customers are being offered and apologised for the disruptions.

"We are working towards stabilising the situation and will resume operating our regular capacity very soon," the spokesperson added. PTI IAS RAM HVA

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