DGCA steps in, tells Vistara to file daily flight cancellation, delay reports

Vistara, co-owned by the Tata group and Singapore Airlines, cancelled over 50 flights on Monday. According to its website, the alrline operates over 300 flights a day

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that in view of the various flight disruptions of Vistara, it has asked the airline to submit daily information and details on the flights that are being cancelled and delayed. (PTI FILE)

NEW DELHI: As Indian carrier Vistara continued to cancel scores of flights due to a shortage of pilots over a revised pay structure, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday ordered the airline to file daily reports on flight cancellations and delays.

The regulator’s move comes a day after the airline, co-owned by Tata Group and Singapore Airlines Ltd, announced that the airline had a significant number of flight cancellations and delays in the past few days due to various reasons, including crew unavailability.

The airline apologised for the disruptions but did not put a number on the total number of flight cancellations on Monday. A person familiar with the matter said 50 flights were cancelled on Monday.

In a post on X on Tuesday, the ministry of civil aviation also said it was “monitoring the situation of Vistara flight cancellations” though flight operations were managed by airlines and underlined that the airlines were required to take stipulated steps to minimise passenger inconvenience.

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

A DGCA official said provisions of the Civil Aviation Requirements require airlines to provide facilities to passengers due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights and flight delays. They are also required to give passengers advance information about the flight status, and an option to seek a refund and compensation, depending on the situation.

Officials are monitoring the situation to ensure compliance with these requirements, the official said.

Vistara has not commented on the flight disruptions on Tuesday.

Pilots at Vistara aren’t reporting for duty in protest against the new compensation package formulated ahead of the airline’s merger with the Tata Group-owned Air India. A person aware of the situation said some components of the Vistara crew’s emoluments have been reduced in the revised contract designed to bring parity between pilots of Vistara and Air India as part of the merger process, prompting the protest and the staff crunch.

A Bloomberg report said the process of merging the two airlines was expected to be completed by the end of the year. Singapore Airlines will hold a 25.1% stake in the enlarged airline after an investment of $250 million and Singapore’s antitrust regulator last month granted conditional approval for the merger.

Vistara operates more than 300 flights a day and has a fleet of 67 aircraft, mainly from the A320 family, as well as six 787 Dreamliner jets.

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