Vistara, the full-service carrier, has announced its plans for the current fiscal year, including the addition of 10 planes and the hiring of over 1,000 employees. The airline has decided to shelve its plans to fly to the US. Vistara, which is in the process of merging with Air India, currently operates a fleet of 61 aircraft and has a staff of over 5,200.
Vinod Kannan, CEO, Vistara, revealed that the collapse of GoFirst has created a ready pool of talent, particularly pilots and cabin crew members. Vistara has recruited around 50 pilots from GoFirst, along with other skilled professionals. Kannan mentioned that the airline will add 10 aircraft to its fleet this financial year, consisting of three wide-body planes and seven A320s. Currently, Vistara owns three wide-body aircraft and leases one.
Explaining the decision to cancel plans for flights to the US, Kannan cited the requirement of a significant number of aircraft for daily operations between India and the US. Due to the merger process and the need for aircraft integration, Vistara has chosen to prioritise other aspects of its operations.
Regarding the merger with Air India, Kannan assured that the team behind the Vistara brand will continue to be a part of the merged entity. He emphasised the effort and investment that went into building the Vistara brand, which has been recognised as a reputable and preferred choice for travellers.
Kannan acknowledged that Air India will benefit from the expertise of Vistara’s employees, as the company continues to grow. When discussing airfares, Kannan attributed the high prices to a combination of reduced capacity due to the grounding of GoFirst and increased demand during peak travel periods. He stated that the most effective solution to address this issue is to increase capacity in the industry.
The Indian civil aviation ministry has recently urged airlines to implement measures to ensure reasonable pricing of air tickets, considering the surge in fares on certain routes.