Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Campbell Wilson gets security clearance, to take over as Air India MD-CEO

New Delhi: The decks are finally clear for Singapore Airlines Group (SIA) veteran Campbell Wilson to formally take over as the MD & CEO of Air India, with the Union home ministry giving him the required security clearance, say senior government officials. Tata Sons, which took over AI this January, had on May 12 announced the appointment of Wilson who was at that time CEO of SIA budget arm Scoot.

After bidding adieu to Scoot on June 15, Wilson came to the Delhi HQ of AI on June 20 and since then he has been visiting the airline’s facilities across India. However he could not assume charge as the airline’s MD-CEO before getting the mandatory security clearance which has now finally been given. This nod is a must for senior level airline personnel, whether Indian or foreign.

“AI finally has an airline background person, in fact an industry veteran, heading it and is looking forward to being run professionally,” said an industry insider. The Tata Group has to integrate its low cost airlines — AI Express and AirAsia India — and strike greater synergy with AI. Vistara will remain a separate entity for now till SIA agrees to a merger with AI. The group has to order new aircraft, with the Airbus A350 being its wide body choice.

On June 20, Wilson had in a message to AI employees said: “This (Monday) morning I was proud to walk through the doors of Air India's New Delhi office for the first time. To be a part of this iconic airline, at this historic time in its journey is a rare and exciting privilege. I am looking forward to joining after all formalities have been completed.… (AI’s) best years are yet to come” and that the journey to make it a world-class airline will require efforts that are “big and small, easy and difficult.”

26/07/22 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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