Vistara Flight Issues: DGCA Calls for Daily Report

A Vistara A320neo climbs overhead.
Photo Credit: Airbus

Indian passengers flying with Vistara have experienced disruptions due to a significant number of flight cancellations and delays. The airline has been forced to cancel over 100 flights this week amid flight crew issues.

The reason behind this chaos is a shortage of pilots stemming from reported disagreements over revised pay structures. Pilots have reportedly taken sick leave en masse amid dissatisfaction with the new salary rules.

Stepping in to ensure passenger rights and minimize inconvenience, India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), directed Vistara to submit daily reports on all cancellations and delays.

The DGCA’s action comes after Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, faced pilot discontent.

News outlets like Business Insider India reported that several pilots called in sick in protest against revised pay structures linked to new contracts.

This pilot shortage resulted in the airline cancelling a substantial number of flights, causing frustration and inconvenience for passengers.

Airbus' Tianjin Factory Delivers First Aircraft
Photo Credit: Airbus

DGCA Request for Daily Reports

Recognizing the potential impact on travelers, the DGCA have now intervened. Their directive requiring daily reports on cancellations and delays serves a two-fold purpose.

Firstly, it allows the DGCA to closely monitor the situation and ensure that Vistara adheres to regulations regarding passenger compensation in case of cancellations and delays.

These regulations mandate airlines to provide passengers with meals, hotel accommodation, and alternate flight arrangements when faced with disruptions.

Secondly, the daily reports provide valuable data for the DGCA to investigate the root cause of the pilot shortage and work towards a swift resolution.

A Vistara Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Vistara

Ministry of Civil Aviation Action

The Ministry of Civil Aviation also joined the efforts to ensure passenger well-being. They closely monitored the situation and, alongside the DGCA, ensured that Vistara complied with passenger compensation regulations.

This combined action from regulatory bodies now seeks to minimize the inconvenience faced by air travelers.

In a statement on Twitter/X on Tuesday 2 April, the Ministry said: “Ministry of Civil Aviation is monitoring the situation of Vistara flight cancellations. However, flight operations are managed by Airlines themselves.”

“Airlines have to comply with DGCA norms to ensure passenger facilitation in case of cancellation or delay of flights.”

A Vistara Airbus lined up on the runway for takeoff.
Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary

While the specific details of the Vistara pilot pay revisions remain unclear, the situation underscores the need for open communication and negotiation between airlines and their pilots.

Finding a fair and agreeable compensation structure is crucial for ensuring pilot satisfaction and ultimately, a smooth-running airline operation.

Looking ahead, it’s important to see how Vistara addresses the pilot concerns and resolves the current situation.

Transparency and open communication with its pilots will be essential in regaining their trust and ensuring a stable workforce.

Passengers can expect the DGCA and the Ministry of Civil Aviation to continue monitoring the situation and take necessary steps to protect their rights.

This incident serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness within the aviation industry. A seemingly internal issue between an airline and its pilots can quickly snowball into disruptions impacting passengers and requiring intervention from regulatory bodies.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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