Sunday, July 10, 2022

Air India CEO Designate Awaits Security Clearance

Air India is ready to hand over the reins to Campbell Wilson, an aviation veteran with more than 25 years of industry experience. Since the announcement of his selection as the top boss of AI, Wilson has been taking stock of the situation with the airline and shared his vision for Air India's future. However, before officially taking over control, he has to get the all-clear from the Government of India.

On May 12th, Tata Sons announced the appointment of Campbell Wilson as chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD) of Air India. The new owners had been looking for a candidate who could steer the airline in the right direction for a long time before that.

So far, everything seems to be going according to plan, and Wilson is expected to formally take control of Air India once he gets the security clearance from the Indian government.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is following up with the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the matter, and approval is expected in the coming weeks. According to the civil aviation ministry official, an application for security clearance to Wilson is before the home ministry.

The task of scrutinizing Wilson's candidature has been given to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), a branch of the Indian government that looks after the country's internal security and domestic policy.

But this shouldn't be seen as anything out of the ordinary. Appointments at such high levels, particularly when it goes to a foreign national, require clearance from the MHA. Whenever needed, the ministry can also take the help of R&AW, which stands for Research and Analysis Wing.

If the whole thing sounds familiar, it's because Air India's previous CEO designate, Ilker Ayci, also went through a similar process. However, his appointment had been surrounded by skepticism from the beginning. Eventually, following negative media coverage, Ayci decided to step down from the post even before the government could clear him for the position.

10/07/22 Gaurav Joshi/Simple Flying

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