Air India gets a new MD-CEO in Campbell Wilson

Wilson in his previous role was heading low-cost carrier and Singapore Airlines subsidiary Scoot as its CEO

Air India gets a new MD-CEO in Campbell Wilson

Aditya Anand

Air India under the Tata management has got a new MD and CEO in Campbell Wilson, who will now be tasked with executing the dream that the company has for the airline since its purchase earlier this year. Wilson in his previous role was heading low-cost carrier and Singapore Airlines subsidiary Scoot as its CEO.

In a statement, the airline said that the Air India board had approved the appointment of Wilson subject to requisite regulatory approvals. Wilson, 50, has 26 years of aviation industry expertise across both full service and low-cost airlines. June 15 will be his last day at Scoot, where Wilson will be replaced by Leslie Thng, the former CEO of Vistara, an airline jointly owned by Tata and Singapore Airlines.

This will be Tata’s second attempt at installing an MD and CEO in place. In February, the company had announced Ilker Ayci would be the CEO. However, within two weeks of this appointment Ayci amidst a controversy around his security clearance prospects declined the offer. Ayci, a former chairman of Turkish Airlines, had previously served as an advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His reported closeness to Erdogan drew criticism on social media leading to the eventual decline of the post by Ayci.

N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Air India 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, Air India 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 started off as a management trainee with Singapore Airlines in New Zealand in 1996. He then worked for the airline in Canada, Hong Kong, and Japan before returning to Singapore in 2011 as the founding CEO of Scoot, which he led until 2016. Wilson then served as the Senior Vice President - Sales & Marketing of SIA, where he oversaw Pricing, Distribution, eCommerce, 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. He holds a Master of Commerce (1st Class Honours) in Business Administration from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

Speaking on the occasion, Wilson said, “It is an 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 realising that ambition.”

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