India’s full-service carrier Vistara will waive the change fees for one-time rescheduling on all direct bookings with the airline until March 31. Direct bookings are the tickets booked directly with the airline, and hence, this change fee waiver will not be applicable to the air ticket bookings via travel agents or platforms like Cleartrip or MakeMyTrip.
Vistara confirms that the airline has witnessed a drastic reduction in ticket booking as fewer people are choosing for air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The travel restrictions placed by the state government create a massive challenge for the free movement of the people. However, Vistara expects the situation to progress in the coming months. The airline said it is experiencing a slight increase in traffic compared to the previous month. Vistara rescheduled and cancelled several of its flights last month due to the low number of passengers. The affected passengers took to Twitter, the popular social media handle, to raise their inconvenience due to sudden cancellations over the past few days.
Vistara responded that the airline is taking care of the refunds and rescheduling of the affected passengers as and when applicable. This Tata Group-SIA airline has also requested travel agents to assist customers.
Air India privatization will not affect Vistara
Meanwhile, Vistara’s Chairman Bhaskar Bhat has confirmed that Vistara will continue to remain as a single entity, and there are no Air India-Vistara merger talks in place. After Vistara’s parent company Tata Group took over India’s national carrier Air India, there were speculations about a potential merger between the two airlines. He said that the airline would improve its customer experiences and profitability, primarily cash conservation.
“We cannot take our eye off the ball because Air India has happened. For now, all are concerned about profitability, and our everyday focus continues to be cash conservation. We see Air India as a big opportunity for the sector. Air India’s acquisition by Tata Group has been one of the biggest events in the industry,” he said.
Vistara has around 51 aircraft in its fleet and has approximately 5000 employees. 51% of Vistara is owned by Tata Group, which recently took over Air India. 49% of the airline is owned by Singapore Airlines.