NEW DELHI: India’s full service carrier Vistara has called the allegations of corruption, bribery, bullying, and the demand of sexual favours as “rumours”, and has committed to carry a thorough and unbiased investigation.
The company’s reaction comes days after German aviation vlogger Josh Cahill, in a YouTube video, shared messages and email screenshots allegedly of Vistara employees, who, he said, alleged exploitation by the management.
Vistara officials said they had repeatedly reached out to the Youtuber to get details, however, he provided no evidence, proofs or information to substantiate his allegations.
Aviation industry experts say its common for some vloggers to extract personal favours including free tickets or upgrades from the airline company by showing such risqué content.
Vistara however said that an internal investigation has been initiated.
“It is being said that the Youtuber is trying to sensationalise the story with the objective to get more views on his content as he is not sharing any proof,” said an airline source.
In a statement, Vistara said, “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 recognised for their integrity and ethics.”
Stressing that the company’s governance and services are guided by TATA Code of Conduct (Code), the company said: “Compliance to the Code is a condition of service for all employees of Tata group, including those of Vistara. In accordance with the Code, Vistata has put in place a robust mechanism (including whistle blower policy and procedures) and necessary structures to implement the ethical standards and practices in the organisation.”
“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. We request you not to believe in any rumours,” the statement reads.
In a video titled “The downfall of Vistara – bribes, bribery, and whistleblowers!”, vlogger Cahill said he was called “annoying, dumb and stupid” by Vistara crew members following his review video.
“When I contacted the airline, a group call was set up and a woman, who I believe works for Vistara, said the accounts that targeted me were fake and were trying to hurt the brand,” he said in the video posted on March 3.
He said that Rashmi Soni, Vice President and Head of Corporate Communication, in an email said that the company “does not try to control anyone from expressing themselves.”
The YouTuber claimed that he had received many documents and emails from Vistara employees who alleged malpractices and wrongdoings in the airline and sought his support to raise their voices.
He had said that the airline put the crew members in the roster for premium routes like London or Frankfurt who were willing to share layover allowance with the department in-charge of making rosters.
The charges have so far been denied by Vistara which may be pressing for a legal case against vlogger for bringing the company to disrepute with unfounded accusations.
Aviation experts also insist that international vloggers must be reined in from harming reputation of India by promoting any content that can potential derail career of professionals in this industry.