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Tata Group picks New Zealander Campbell Wilson as Air India


Campbell Wilson, chief executive officer of no-frills airline Scoot, will take over as chief executive officer and managing director of Air India, said Tata Sons on Thursday.

Wilson will lead the airline after the group’s first choice, former Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci, declined to take up the job.

Wilson’s last working day at Scoot is June 15 and he will be succeeded by Vistara’s former CEO Leslie Thng. The Tata group did not disclose Wilson’s joining date in Air India.

Wilson, a New Zealander, has a background in sales and commercial roles and rose from the ranks of management trainee in Singapore Airlines. When Singapore Airlines decided to set up its own low cost long haul airline in 2011, to compete with the likes of AirAsiaX, Jetstar and Cebu Pacific, it chose Wilson, then a general manager in Japan, to head the carrier.

After initial challenges, Scoot under him expanded capacity and started new services including those to India. The airline also saw three years of operational profitability between 2015-2017. Wilson left Scoot to rejoin Singapore Airlines in 2016 but returned for a second stint in 2020.

Announcing his appointment Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran said Campbell Wilson is an industry veteran having worked in key global markets across market functions. “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,” he said.

“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,” Wilson said in a statement.

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