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Some Air India Pilots Could Soon Fly Vistara Dreamliners


  • The Tata Group has reportedly asked some Air India pilots to fly Vistara Dreamliners.
  • Air India and Vistara are the only Indian airlines operating Boeing 787 planes, and resource sharing between the two could occur before the merger is finalized.
  • Air India currently has 27 787-8 aircraft, while Vistara has four 787-9s, with three more arriving by next year.

In a sign of things to come, the Tata Group has reportedly asked some Air India pilots to fly Boeing 787 aircraft of Vistara. Both Air India and Vistara have Dreamliners in their fleet, and once the Competition Commission of India officially approves the two carriers’ merger proposal, some of Air India’s pilots could be asked to fly Vistara widebody planes.

The Tata Group has asked some of Air India’s Boeing 787 pilots to fly Vistara Dreamliners. According to a report by The Economic Times (ET), people aware of the matter have said that the management is seeking consent from Air India pilots if they want to go on deputation to Vistara as line captains on “existing emoluments.” The last day to fill out the consent form was August 15th.

Vistara Boeing 787-9

Photo: Vistara

Air India and Vistara are in the process of merging their businesses to form a consolidated full-service airline. Eventually, their employees will work together, but the latest move suggests that resource sharing could be done even before a deal is formally completed. ET quotes a source as saying,

“Most of Vistara’s Dreamliner pilots have their base in Delhi and it needs some in its Mumbai base. Air India has some very senior Dreamliner captains in Mumbai, who are close to retirement. Captains are scarce in this market and so it’s a good short-term fit.”

Boeing 787 fleet

Air India and Vistara are the only two Indian airlines that operate Boeing 787 planes. Air India’s fleet has 27 787-8s, while Vistara currently has four 787-9s, one of which is on lease. It will also get three more Dreamliners by March next year.

Air India Boeing 787

Photo: Nicolas Economou | Shutterstock

The 787-9 has a longer fuselage, and Air India pilots who agree to go on deputation will also have to take brief ground classes and conversion simulator training for the 787-9 type. They will also require a 787-9 endorsement from India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Approval for merger pending

Of course, all of this will happen only after Air India receives the green light from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for its proposed merger with Vistara. The Tata Group approached the CCI in April, seeking its approval for the merger.

In June, it was reported that the CCI had more questions regarding the merger, although it is not being viewed as anything out of the ordinary. Business decisions like these often have to face strict scrutiny by higher authorities to ensure that competition within the industry remains fair.

Air India Boeing 787

Photo: Media_works | Shutterstock

Recently, Campbell Wilson, Air India’s Chief Executive Officer, and Sidharth Sharma, Tata Group’s General Counsel, met with Ravneet Kaur, the Chief of the Competition Commission of India, to discuss the ongoing merger process and its potential impact the merger will have on India’s airline industry. Hopefully, the CCI will give its approval soon.

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Source: The Economic Times

  • Tom Boon-200

    Air India

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Campbell Wilson



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