AirAsia India appoints Subramanian Ramadorai as non-executive chairman

Chennai, June 18 (IANS) Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia Tuesday formally announced the appointment of Subramanian Ramadorai, chairman of the National Skills development Corporation (NSDC), as its non-executive chairman of India operations.

“He is an exceptionally experienced executive with a proven track record of building and grooming dynamic, young and energetic teams,” Tony Fernandes, group chief executive, AirAsia said in a statement.

“His ability to upscale will be critical as we grow the business and we look forward to the additional perspective and expertise he will be able to share as we embark upon the launch of AirAsia India.”

On his part Ramadorai added: “I look forward to working with the executive team led by Mittu (Mittu Chandilya as its chief executive officer (CEO), AirAsia India) and supporting the company’s growth and advancement into the market in the future.” ”

In June 2013, Ramadorai took over as the chairman of the NSDC. He also serves as chairman of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and vice chairman of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

The announcement of Ramadorai comes two day after the company appointed Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, as its chief advisor to AirAsia India.

In May, 2013 the company had appointed appointed Singapore-based management consultant Mittu Chandilya as its chief executive officer (CEO).

The appointments to top management positions fulfills key condition for getting permission for starting operations from the home and civil aviation ministries.

The government March 26, 2013 had approved AirAsia’s proposal to set up a new airline in the Indian civil aviation sector with partners Tata Group and Arun Bhatia-promoted Telestra Tradeplace.

The initial investment approved for the airline stands at Rs.80.98 crore. The approval allows the budget carrier to roll out the seventh scheduled domestic carrier in the Indian skies which is expected to start operations later this year.

In its proposal, AirAsia said it intended to hold 49 percent stake in the JV. While Tata Sons will hold a 30 percent stake and Telestra Tradeplace 21 percent.

Informatively, India’s first carrier was Tata Airlines, which took flight in 1932. In 1953, it was nationalised and renamed Air India.

The other JV partner, Arun Bhatia, runs aviation parts manufacturing company Hindustan Aerosystems in New Delhi.

The LCC will operate from Chennai and focus on providing connectivity to smaller cities with a small fleet initially. It plans to start operations by the end of this year.

The approval follows a change in foreign capital investment in Indian domestic aviation sector with the government last year allowing foreign airlines to invest up to 49 percent in private domestic carriers.

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