The CEO of Vistara (UK, Delhi International) says the impending merger with Air India (AI, Mumbai International) will not result in any job losses. Speaking at a conference in Delhi recently, Vinod Kannan said all 5,100 Vistara employees will transition across to Air India.

“There will be chances for everyone in the greater entity. They will all be included in the new amalgamated business," he told media. Kannan's comments back up comments made by Air India CEO Campbell Wilson in February. “While planning for the merger of Vistara into Air India, we want to ensure that everyone in the group has a position and future," Wilson said.

According to Kannan, around 80% of Vistara's employees work in operations. He says that while some of those Vistara employees may experience a "designation change" after their induction into Air India, the merged entity will be three times the size of Vistara and offer employees significant scope for advancement. Regarding non-operational support employees, Kannan pointed out that Air India had consistently failed to fill support positions while under government ownership and most of those positions remain open.

"Campbell Wilson has just said that the airline did not recruit people in these departments in the past 15 years or so. The assurance to Vistara staff is that we will find a place for you. It may not be like-to-like in the same title and same designation, but it will be something that you will be comfortable with," Kannan said.

Kannan's future role at the merged entity is less assured. He is a Singapore Airlines Group careerist who was seconded to Vistara in 2019 after SIA Group took a 49% stake in the airline earlier in the decade. In a 4Q 2022 deal, SIA Group agreed to surrender its Vistara stake in exchange for a 25.1% holding in the enlarged Campbell Wilson-led Air India entity. In recent media interviews, Kannan says he will keep operating Vistara as a fully independent airline, including taking delivery of new aircraft and pushing into new markets, until the merger is finalised.

“It is something that will depend on the shareholders and also on Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi) because I am a staff from Singapore Airlines. It has not been decided yet," he said about his future.