Coronavirus impact: Vistara to adjust capacity, ‘reduce cost and conserve cash’

The world is witnessing an unprecedented crisis over the last two weeks due to the spread of deadly coronavirus and airlines across the world are among the worst hit. In India, airlines have also started what their global peers are doing at a much larger scale — grounding fleet and cutting capacity.

Vistara, the joint venture of Tata sons and Singapore Airlines, is the youngest airline of India. It started operations in 2015 and recently inducted its first wide-body aircraft. The airline, which had plans to commence medium and long-haul operations to cities like London, Tokyo, Paris, Moscow among others, now looks at a difficult future amid uncertain times.

In the light of these developments, Vistara chief executive officer Leslie Thng has written to the company’s employees apprising them of the situation that the airline finds itself in owing to the travel restrictions imposed by governments across the globe.

“I would like to update on the growing scale and impact of COVID-19 has on our business. Our immediate priority has been to ensure the safety and well-being of our passengers as well as our staff, especially our frontline staff and operating crew,” he wrote.

“A cross functional task force (chaired by Captain Basil) has been set up in January 2020 to review SOPs and to implement the necessary measures required to protect everyone. All operational divisions and departments will be informed on the decisions taken accordingly. HR will also continue to provide regular updates on the measures we are taking in our office premises.”

Thng added that the Vistara’s operations have been adjusted for March and April 2020, and that the airline is taking steps to “reduce cost and conserve cash”.

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