Sunday, December 04, 2022

Vistara won’t cut jobs due to Air India merger: HR head

Vistara plans to increase its fleet size and employee count, its top HR executive told DH, trying to allay fears about potential layoffs tied to its merger with Air India.

“When we were at the ebb of our performance during Covid, we made a statement we would not do any layoffs. So right now we are looking up and we are looking ahead,” said Deepa Chadha, Senior Vice President of Human Resource and Corporate Affairs at Vistara. “At this point in time, we have 54 aircraft. We are targeting to be 60 at the end of this financial year and 70 aircraft by the end of 2023,” she said. “We were 3800 staff just last financial year, we are already touching 5000 and we planned to touch maybe around 6000 by the end of this financial year.” The comments came less than a week after the Tata Group unveiled plans to combine Air India with Vistara, its joint venture with Singapore Airlines. Some aviation consultants said the plan could result in aggressive downsizing and layoffs by Vistara. Vistara downplayed those concerns. “It is about looking ahead to become bigger. So even if I think of a merger, the game will become bigger and the best people of this airline or Vistara will make that bigger game for a merged entity,” she said.

“Economies of scale come into picture here and that scale is very important for any airline’s success. So Singapore Airlines has not invested in an airline business to be a 10% market-share organisation. There is a five-year road map to target a 30% kind of a market share. We would already have a combined 25% market share. So, scale is important for profitability and also for the positioning of the brand, we would like to be number one in whichever area that we are playing in as a group. We are here for a long run.”

It is bullish on India. “What we observe is that India is still the highest growing economy. Indian aviation definitely is a growth story. So far, so good is how I would say.” she said.

04/12/22 Lavpreet Kaur/Deccan Herald

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