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Govt gives security clearance to Air India CEO-designate Campbell Wilson

The Govt has given security clearance to Air India CEO-designate Campbell Wilson, paving the way for him to take charge of the airline

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has given security clearance to Air India CEO-designate Campbell Wilson, paving the way for him to take charge of the airline, according to a senior official. The appointment of Wilson as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Air India was announced by Tata Sons on May 12.

Tata Sons took over the loss-making carrier on January 27. The senior official on Tuesday told PTI that the home ministry has given the security clearance to Wilson.

Specific details could not be immediately ascertained.

There was no immediate response to a query sent to an Air India spokesperson on the matter.

Under civil aviation rules, clearance of the Home Ministry is mandatory for the appointment of key personnel at airlines, including foreigners.

Weeks after taking over the carrier, Tata Sons, on February 14, named Turkish Airlines’ former Chairman Lyker Ayci as Air India’s MD and CEO. However, Ayci, who was to take over on April 1, declined to join the group amid concerns expressed over his appointment in certain quarters.

Wilson was the CEO of Singapore Airlines’ wholly-owned subsidiary Scoot Air. Singapore Airlines is a joint venture partner of Tata Group in full-service carrier Vistara.

He then worked for the carrier in Canada, Hong Kong and Japan before returning to Singapore in 2011, as the founding CEO of Scoot, which he led until 2016.

He also served as the senior vice president of sales and marketing of Singapore Airlines, where he oversaw pricing, distribution, e-commerce, merchandising, brand and marketing, global sales and the airline’s overseas offices, before returning for a second stint as the CEO of Scoot in April 2020.

An aviation industry veteran with over 26 years of experience, he started off as a management trainee with Singapore Airlines.

In a message to Air India employees on June 20, Wilson said the airline’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”.

According to sources at the airline, in recent weeks, Wilson has been visiting various offices of Air India and meeting staff.

In October last year, through a competitive bidding process, the government sold Air India to Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of Tata Sons for Rs 18,000 crore.

Air India was started by the Tata Group in 1932 and the carrier was nationalised in 1953.

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