Air India needs to move fast on key appointment

Raghu Menon

What gives at Air India? The Indian state-owned carrier has eased out Raghu Menon (above) as chairman and managing director after only a year in-charge due to differences between him and civil aviation minister Praful Patel.

The Indian media have been speculating about the reasons, but one thing is for sure – the civil servants who are responsible for making the new appointment have to move fast. With the country’s general elections taking place now, any dithering could result in them leaving the decision, which the cabinet must approve, to the next government and therefore further delays in the appointment.

That would leave Air India without a permanent chief during an immensely challenging time for airlines globally and especially in India, and make matters worse just when the carrier needs proper direction the most.

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