DGCA seeks report as Vistara cancels flights for 2 consecutive days

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has sought daily report from Vistara on flight cancellations and delays as mass sick leave by its pilots disrupted the airline operations.

The civil aviation regulator has also instructed Vistara to refund or compensate passengers for impacted flights, as per regulations. In a statement on Tuesday, DGCA said its officials are monitoring the situation to ensure compliance of regulations and minimise passenger inconvenience.

The regulatory intervention came as Vistara cancelled around 50 flights for the second day in a row. Airline sources expect operations to stabilise in a couple of days. A root cause analysis too would be carried out to examine the causes for delays or cancellations.

Vistara operates around 350 domestic and international flights daily with a mix of Airbus and Boeing aircraft. While number of flights has increased by over 26 per cent over last year, discontent is also mounting among its pilots.

The primary reason for the unease is new work contract for pilots which guarantees allowances for 40 hours instead of 70 hours as per previous contract. While the new contract that came into effect from April 1 brings uniformity in pay scales across the Air India group, pilots have been unhappy with the manner of implementation. 

There are other grouses too. For instance Vistara pilots on Airbus fleet are not being offered transition on Airbus A350 or Boeing 777 aircraft. There are issues with the crew scheduling department too with some pointing to a lower morale after disciplinary action against executives. On whatsapp groups, pilots discussed about not being rostered for flights in past two days despite being available or being called for duty over an email instead of a telephone call.

Vistara did not respond to an email query on the topic.

However, in a statement on Monday, it said the airline the would temporarily reduce its flights to ensure adequate connectivity across network and operate larger capacity Boeing 787 aircraft on domestic routes to accommodate affected passengers.

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