“A matter of air safety was brought to the notice of the management, but instead of initiating any investigation against the erring Pilot (First Officer), they elevated him”
Deflating the ‘tall’ claims of Air Vistara (A Tata Singapore Airlines Joint Venture) of having ‘robust mechanism’ to deal with any matter, a Delhi based whistleblower alleged “They (Scheduled Air Operator) do not even acknowledge the complaint when brought to their attention, forget about taking action.”
In an exclusive talk with The Typewriter, the whistleblower, preferring to stay anonymous due to security concerns, alleged that recently Vistara issued a public notice, claiming that they follow ‘due processes’.
“I am evident to the fact that the content of the entire public notice, issued by the Vistara airlines, is farce and bogus because the concerned operator never implements it,” said the whistleblower, adding that he had flagged some staggering safety concerns, but no action has been taken so far.
He alleged that the matter pertaining to the safety of the passengers and airline was highlighted in an email, but till date no acknowledgement has been made. Pertinently, Air Vistara in response to a social media expose of mismanagement at Vistara office had issued public notice, which elucidated the policy of the company.
“We have come across certain posts on social media platforms which defame disparage, dilute and tarnish the Vistara brand. Vistara is a joint venture of Tata group and Singapore airlines two entities, who are globally recognized for their integrity and ethics,” reads the notice, adding “Vistara is governed and guided by Tata Code of Conduct, which serves as the ethical roadmap for Tata employees and companies, and provides guidelines by which the group conducts its businesses”.
It added, “Compliance to the code is a condition of service for all employees of Tata group, including those of Vistara. In accordance with the code, Vistara has put in place a robust mechanism including whistleblower policy and procedures and necessary structures to implement the ethical standards and practices in the organization”.
“As part of our commitment under the code, we follow due process and conduct thorough and unbiased investigation in any matter that comes to our attention and we continue to do so,” public notice reads, adding “Our aim has always been, and always will be to conduct our business with the highest level of sincerity, honesty and integrity. We request you to not believe in any rumours.”
Questioning the validity of the public notice, another whistleblower stated that there is no such provision of investigation in the organization. “A matter of air safety was brought to the notice of the management, but instead of initiating any investigation against the erring Pilot (First Officer), they elevated him,” alleged the whistleblower, adding that there are number of complaints pending in the office, but no cognizance has been taken by the management, which makes this public notice ‘farce’.
While referring to the Tata Code of Conduct, the whistleblower stated that clause 8 of the Core Principles claims that the statements that organization makes to their stakeholders shall be truthful and made in good faith.
“But, here they do not entertain the complaints, which makes this code of conduct dubious,” said the whistleblower, adding the code also claims to encourage employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to raise concerns or make disclosures when they become aware of any actual or potential violation of Code, policies or law.
It reads, the organization also encourages reporting of any event (actual or potential) of misconduct that is not reflective of values and principles.
Meanwhile, according to aviation industry sources, Vistara has been in question over ignoring complaints pertaining to cancellation and rescheduling of flights. “Imagine, the company ignored basic complaints of flight cancellation and rescheduling, what they could be upto against complaints by whistleblowers,” said sources, adding that many affected passengers had expressed their difficulty getting in touch with Vistara customer service on social media.
In February this year, ISRO scientist Shibasish Prusty had tweeted that his flight from Delhi to Bhubaneswar had been canceled and that Vistara’s customer care number had been busy.
Talking to news agencies, a Cancer patient Pronab Kumar Mandal said that he needed chemotherapy, but Vistara canceled his flight from Kolkata to Mumbai. Throughout the days, Mandal said he had been trying to contact the airline.
When contacted Head Human Resources, Vistara, Deepa Chadda said that they do not entertain anonymous complaints.
“If you could tell me the specific complain, we would try to look into it,” said Deepa, adding that sometimes organization misses some emails.
When asked about the whistleblower policy, Deepa Chadda said they have a very clear and strong policy in place. She also sought details of the complaint which has not been acknowledged so far.