India flag carrier Air India has a new CEO. 

Currently, Campbell Wilson is the Chief Executive at Singaporean low-cost airline Scoot and has been appointed the new CEO and Managing Director of Air India. 

This comes as former Turkish Airlines CEO Ilker Ayci stepped down from his new position as CEO of Air India only two weeks after his appointment.

A new boss

The new owner of Air India, Tata Sons, nominated Wilson.

Campbell comes with a whole host of experience in the aviation industry, a quarter of a century of experience in fact. 

He chose to leave his position at Scoot, a Singaporean low-cost airline and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, to accept the post at Air India. On 15 June, he’ll officially take up the role. 

Wilson said that it was an honour to take up the role, lead Air India and be a part of the “highly respected” Tata Group. He continued:

“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.” 

Who is Campbell Wilson?

Who is the new CEO of India’s most respected and popular carrier? Wilson is a New Zealand native and joined Singapore Airlines in Auckland in 1996. Ten years later, he was promoted to the airline’s Vice President of Operations in Canada. In 2008, Wilson became General Manager of Singapore Airlines’ Hong Kong operations, later changing to Japan in 2010. 

Campbell Wilson returned to Singapore in 2011 in his new role as CEO of Scoot, which began its operations in June 2012. He led Scoot until 2016 to serve as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Singapore Airlines. He returned as CEO of Scoot in April 2020. 

Scoot Boeing aircraft
Scoot predominately serves locations within the Asia-Pacific with its eye-catching yellow and white livery. | © Scoot

Now, Wilson is leaving for New Delhi to lead Air India. 

A welcome appointment

N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Air India, spoke positively about the appointment:

“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.”

As reported by Marketing Interactive, Goh Choong Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines, shared his thoughts on Wilson’s career move:

“Wilson is one of our most experienced senior executives, who has made many important contributions in key management roles within the SIA Group. While we are sad to lose him, he goes to Air India with our full blessings. We wish Campbell every success in his new and exciting role.”

Has Wilson got his work cut out for him?

As the new CEO of Air India Wilson has many responsibilities, he will run and monitor Tata Group’s (Tata Sons) ambitious mission of turning around the carrier’s most recent financial misfortunes by implementing a revamp of its service standards. There are also plans to integrate Air India operations with AirAsia India and possibly Vistara – Tata Group’s jointly owned airline with SIA. 

Air India actually recently made AirAsia India its wholly-owned subsidiary. 

But these financial issues and structural changes may not be all Wilson has to manage upon his arrival. Air India’s market share fell from 11.1% in February of this year to a low of 8.8% by the following month despite the carrier’s improvement in its on-time performance by a notable 28%. Its on-time performance was an impressive 91.2% in March. 

So Wilson has a lot on his plate. But his previous experience can act as reassurance that he’s up for the task.

What do you think of Air India’s new CEO? Do you reckon the carrier is about to enter a more prosperous era? Let us know in the comments below. 

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