Talks are still ongoing about the airline’s future: Vistara chairman at City Hall

A decision on Vistara’s future has yet to be made as promoters Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines are still in talks, said the chairman of Vistara’s parent company Tata Sia Airlines Ltd. Bhaskar Bhat his staff at a town hall meeting last week, sources told The Indian Outsider.

Sources said the townhall meeting was mainly organized to reassure Vistara employees worried about their future after Air India last week announced a voluntary retirement scheme for its employees.

Last month The Indian Express reported that Tata Sons was in exploratory talks with Singapore Airlines, the joint venture partner of Indian full-service airline Vistara, over a possible merger between newly acquired Air India and Vistara. There is evidence that SIA has asked for until the end of 2023 to decide whether or not to go ahead with the merger. Vistara is a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines.

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An email request sent to Vistara asking for comments on this story received no response.

Bhat, who is a longtime Tata executive, is also said to have told Vistara employees that the VRS program is for Air India’s old employees and that Vistara employees should not worry as the average age of employees at the Airline is about 27 to 28 years years.

In a bid to make its way of working more efficient, Tata Group-owned Air India has announced a VRS for permanent employees aged 55 or over or who have been with the airline for 20 consecutive years. The move will help the airline lay off about 3,000 employees.

In addition, the VRS eligibility age was relaxed from 55 to 40 for some flight attendants, clerks and unskilled workers. “A grace amount will also be granted to the above employees who apply for voluntary retirement as a one-time benefit from June 1, 2022 to July 31, 2022,” according to an order issued by Suresh Dutt, Air India’s chief human resources officer , Tripathi was signed on June 1st.

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