The rebuilding of Air India has taken another step forward with the appointment of Campbell Wilson, currently chief of low-cost airline Scoot, as chief executive and managing director.
The appointment was announced on May 12, 2022 by Tata Sons, which took formal control of Air India in January 2022.
New Zealand-born Wilson, 50 years old, has 26 years of aviation industry expertise, having started as a management trainee with Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) (SIA) in 1996.
In 2011, he became the founding CEO of Scoot, which is fully owned by SIA, where he stayed until 2016. After a stint as senior vice president of sales and marketing at SIA, Wilson returned to lead Scoot in April 2020.
Air India chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said he looked forward to working with Wilson to build a “world-class airline” and highlighted his experience.
“He is an industry veteran having worked in key global markets cutting across multiple functions,” Chandrasekaran commented in the press release. “Further, Air India would benefit from his added experience of having built an airline brand in Asia.”
Wilson said it was an honor to be selected for the role. “Air India is at the cusp of a journey to become one of the best airlines in the world… I am excited to join Air India and Tata colleagues in the mission of realizing that ambition.”
With the takeover of Air India, Tata Sons holds shares in four Indian airlines – Air India, Air India Express, AirAsia India, and Vistara, a joint venture with SIA.
Tata Sons is in the process of revamping Air India at an interesting time for Indian aviation. Jet Airways is due to restart operations later this year, while new carrier Akasa is also set for launch.
It is the second attempt for Tata Sons to name a new chief executive for Air India. The board had initially selected Ilker Ayci, former chairman of Turkish Airlines, for the position earlier this year, but he declined the role, reportedly over concerns linked to security clearance.