Vistara's offer - and other airlines will soon follow - to let customers book adjacent seats too, has again set off a debate on the middle seat
Kannan said the occupancy rate in Vistara flights has been on an average between 50 to 60 percent since the domestic passenger services resumed on May 25.
Delivery of some planes have already been pushed back due to logistics issues and production delays at the planemakers, as countries went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Vinod Kannan, chief strategy officer at Vistara told reporters.
The step to allow booking of adjacent seat, Vistara hopes, will instil confidence among passengers to take to the skies. Though domestic flights resumed on May 25, passenger loads and utilisation of capacity have been low.
The full-service carrier has more than 4,000 employees on its payroll.
Calling the coronavirus pandemic a "black swan" event, Kannan noted that the airlines have a fundamental knack of ordering aircraft when the times are good, and getting the delivery when the times are bad.
Vistara has also preponed the returning of leased planes of erstwhile Jet Airways from the earlier schedule of phasing them out by 2022-23, the source said, adding that airlines globally reworking and strategising their business plans, including fleet and network plans.
Pilots who were in direct contact with these two pilots were sent for RT-PCR COVID-19 test, the spokesperson said, adding, "So far, the results for some of the pilots have been found negative while others are still pending."
While domestic passenger flights resumed across India from Monday, they restarted in Andhra Pradesh from Tuesday and in West Bengal from Thursday.
The profitability of the industry would also be adversely impacted in the ongoing fiscal due to lower revenues and high fixed costs, which is 35-42 percent of the total cost of airlines.
Vistara had sent the same set of senior employees on compulsory LWP for up to six days in April.
Vistara said it will withdraw on-board sales, welcome drink, hot meals, beverages in the premium economy and economy offerings.
"Vistara started operating the cargo flights on Sunday, April 19, between Delhi and Mumbai, and will operate more such flights over the next two weeks, carrying vital supplies and commercial cargo to and from various parts of India, including but not limited to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai," the airline's press release stated.
"We shall await the ministry's notice in this regard. We have suspended operations and sales until May 3, following the last circular," Vistara spokesperson said.
On March 27, the airline had also introduced compulsory leave without pay for up to three days between April 1 and April 14 for the same set of senior employees.
Thng said the annual salary increment exercise for all eligible staff will be deferred from April to July 1 and an appropriate decision shall be taken then.
A check on where airlines have parked their grounded fleet after sharp drop in traffic triggered by coronavirus outbreak
On March 17, domestic carrier GoAir also announced a temporary suspension of all international operations, starting March 17, 2020, until April 15, 2020, citing an unprecedented decline in air travel.
The joint venture airline between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines has adjusted capacity for March and April
Trading of slots is allowed at London Heathrow, which has one of the most expensive slots in the world.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is a long haul, wide-body aircraft that was first showcased to the aviation world in 2013
The last date for submission of expression of interest for the state-run carrier is March 17.
On February 26, Vistara announced 20 flights between Delhi and Bangkok, 26 between Mumbai and Singapore and eight between Delhi and Singapore were cancelled for March in response to weak demand due to the virus outbreak.
The plane, which has the registration number VT-TSD, will depart from the Boeing facility here at 2 pm (local time) on Friday and land in Delhi at 2 pm (local time) on Saturday, Vistara officials said here.
In a statement on Wednesday, the airline said it has made temporary adjustments to selected services to/from Bangkok and Singapore for March.