Air India CEO-designate Campbell Wilson’s application for security clearance is being considered and approval will be given once background checks are completed, officials familiar with the matter said.
Wilson was the CEO of Scoot Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines is a Tata Group joint venture partner in the full-service carrier Vistara.
As security clearance takes time, Wilson has yet to formally take over responsibility from Air India, industry sources said.
A query sent to Air India about Wilson’s security clearance and when he should officially join the airline did not elicit a response.
Weeks after taking over the carrier, Tata Sons on Feb. 14 appointed former Turkish Airlines chairman Lyker Ayci as managing director and CEO of Air India.
However, Ayci, a Turkish national, who was due to take over on April 1, declined to join the group due to concerns in some quarters over his close ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Erdoğan had taken a stand against India several times in the past on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
Under government rules, permission from the Home Office is required for the appointment of key personnel in private companies that include foreign nationals.
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 take efforts “big and small. , easy and difficult”.
Wilson, an aviation industry veteran with more than 26 years of experience, started as a management trainee with Singapore Airlines in New Zealand in 1996.
He then worked for the carrier in Canada, Hong Kong and Japan before returning to Singapore in 2011 as founding CEO of Scoot, which he led until 2016.
He then served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Singapore Airlines, where he oversaw pricing, distribution, e-commerce, merchandising, brand and marketing, global sales and offices at overseas from the airline, before returning for a second term as CEO of Scoot in April 2020.
Through a tender process, the government in October last year sold Air India to Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of Tata Sons for Rs 18,000 crore.
Air India was launched by the Tata group in 1932 and the carrier was nationalized in 1953.