Campbell Wilson, Air India’s ‘new boss’
Tata Sons on Thursday appointed Campbell Wilson as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director of Air India. The 50-year-old has 26 years of aviation industry expertise across both full service and low-cost airlines, Air India said.
The appointment of Wilson, who has been in the airline industry for 26 years, is subject to getting the required regulatory approvals. Wilson is currently the CEO of Singapore Airlines (SIA) budget carrier Scoot and will bid adieu to the airline on June 15.
Air India is the third airline brand in the Tata Group’s stable. Tata Group holds a majority interest in AirAsia India and Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines.
Earlier, the Tata Group had selected former Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci — a confidante of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is not exactly known to be a friend of India — as AI MD & CEO. Later, Ayci declined to take up this offer.
The airline stated, “Mr. Wilson started off as a Management Trainee with SIA in New Zealand in 1996. He then worked for SIA in Canada, Hong Kong, and Japan before returning to Singapore in 2011 as the founding CEO of Scoot, which he led until 2016. Mr. Wilson then served as the Senior Vice-President of Sales & Marketing of SIA, where he oversaw pricing, distribution, e-commerce, merchandising, brand & marketing, global sales, and the airline’s overseas offices, before returning for a second stint as the CEO of Scoot in April 2020.”
Tata Group and AI chairman N Chandrasekaran said: “I am delighted to welcome Campbell to Air India. He is an industry veteran having worked in key global markets cutting across multiple functions. Further, AI would benefit from his added experience of having built an airline brand in Asia. I look forward to working with him in building a world-class airline.”
Wilson said: “It is honour to be selected to lead the iconic Air India and be a part of the highly respected Tata Group. Air India is at the cusp of an exciting journey to become one of the best airlines in the world, offering world-class products and services with a distinct customer experience that reflects Indian warmth and hospitality. I am excited to join Air India and Tata colleagues in the mission of realizing that ambition.” Getting an aviation background CEO for AI was crucial to take the airline ahead beyond the immediately visible improvements like better meals onboard and punctuality.
Tatas had set up Tata Airlines in 1932, which was later — in 1946 — renamed Air India. The government had taken control of the airline in 1953, but JRD Tata continued to be its chairman till 1977. The official handover marked the homecoming of Air India to Tatas after 69 years.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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