Lockdown: Vistara defers payments to some suppliers, says internal memo

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Vistara gets Rs 500-crore fund infusion from Tata Sons, Singapore Airlines

Indian airline Vistara has negotiated a reduction and a deferral of payments to certain suppliers to save money, the airline’s CEO said in an internal note after the government extended India’s foreclosure for contain the coronavirus (Covid-19).

The coronavirus pandemic has practically halted air travel, with many airline fleets immobilized and no visibility on when travel restrictions will be relaxed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended India’s nationwide foreclosure on Tuesday – which began on March 25 – until May 3.

In an email to employees, Vistara CEO Leslie Thng said it was “of utmost importance” to do everything possible to save money.

“We have made progress with some of our key partners and suppliers in reducing and / or deferring some of our immediate operating expenses and we continue to aggressively apply these measures with others,” said Thng in the email seen by Reuters.

Vistara is a joint venture between Singapore Airlines and the Indian group Tata.

An airline statement said that the prolonged foreclosure and suspension of its services will have an additional significant impact on the company’s cash flows and that it is taking a number of measures to reduce costs.

Thng said in his email that Vistara would resume air operations gradually once the government authorizes it.

“For the initial period, we may not be able to completely restore our suspended network and, as a result, our finances will continue to be affected,” he said.

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