Vistara Pilots Resist New Salary Structure

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  • Vistara pilots resist new pay structures ahead of the Air India merger, facing potential pay cuts of up to 57%.
  • Some concerns include decreased flying hours and difficulty in paying off training loans.
  • Vistara recently faced disruptions in operations reportedly due to pilot mass leave, impacting flights for up to a week.

As Vistara moves closer to its eventual merger with Air India, it also has the task of transitioning its employees to the new airline, including a new salary structure for its pilots. But the full-cost carrier’s cockpit crew is reportedly not happy with the changes in the restructured monthly compensation, leading to some resistance.

Vistara tells pilots to accept new salary structure

With several reports circulating in the last several days about Vistara pilots being dissatisfied with the new salary structure, the airline reportedly gave them a deadline on March 15 to accept it by end of day.

Vistara Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Photo: BoeingMan777 | Shutterstock

It is believed that the new pay structure following the airline’s merger with Air India will lead to a decrease of more than 50% in pay for some pilots. Some first officers have said that under the new deal, pilots will get a minimum guaranteed flying of 40 hours after business integration as opposed to 70 hours in the current contract.

Captains and senior captains will see their guaranteed flight hours reduced to 52-55 hours and 55-60 hours, respectively. For some pilots, this could reportedly result in a pay cut of as much as 57%.

Some other concerns of pilots include a bond when some of them moved from former AirAsia India to Vistara against a loan of around $10,000 for training purposes. They say that with the new salary structure, it would be difficult to pay off this debt.

The Hindu reports that some Airbus A320 first officers also have concerns over their transition to widebody aircraft and how it might affect their upgrade to the post of captain, potentially delaying the process.

Vistara Airbus A321neo at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)

Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock

Mass sick leave earlier this month

The dissatisfaction among Vistara pilots over the revised pay structure has apparently been brewing for some time now. Earlier this month, the airline’s operations were affected after several pilots reportedly took mass leave.

Vistara had to cancel and delay many flights, with a cascading effect on flight operations lasting up to a week. The airline acknowledged the delays but said it was not due to pilots’ leave. The Economic Times quoted a Vistara spokesperson as saying,

“We have witnessed disruption across our network owing to a host of factors, like unforeseen maintenance requirements on some aircraft, unfavourable weather in North India on a few days, air traffic congestion and other routine operational constraints. While there has been no increase in the number of pilots reporting sick and it has remained well within the range that is factored in our manpower planning, it has added to the reasons contributing to the disruptions.”

A Vistara Boeing 787-9 Flying in the sky.

Photo: Abdul N Quraishi – Abs | Shutterstock

Vistara-Air India merger

Vistara and Air India are steadily heading towards business integrations, with the final process expected to be completed in 2025. Among the various approvals needed from relevant authorities, both airlines have also received approval from the completion watchdogs of both India and Singapore.

Air India Boeing 777-300ER

Photo: viper-zero | Shutterstock


Singapore Approves Air India-Vistara Merger But With Conditions

Singapore’s competition watchdog had concerns regarding some routes between the two countries.

As with any airline merger, the transition of employees from one airline to another is sometimes a tricky process, with contract negotiations and salary and designation changes as well. Hopefully, these are just some teething issues for Vistara that will be resolved soon.

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