Ex Chairman of Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani, was appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of debt ridden national carrier Air India. He had earlier headed the organisation for two years from August 2015 to August 2017. Mr. Lohani will replace Pradeep Singh Kharola, who has been appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Mr. Kharola, a 1985-batch IAS officer of the Karnataka cadre, was in November 2017 named the CMD of Air India Ltd. He took over the reins of the debt-ridden national carrier on January 2018.
Mr. Lohani retired as top bureaucrat of the Railway Board, the apex decision making body of the Ministry of Railways in December 2018. Considered close to the present regime, he was picked up to run the national airlines after his name was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).
Did You Know?
- Air India is the flag carrier airline of India headquartered at New Delhi.
- It is owned by Air India Limited, a government-owned enterprise, and operates a fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft serving 94 domestic and international destinations.
- The airline has its hub at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, alongside several focus cities across India.
- Air India is the largest international carrier out of India with an 18.6% market share.
- The airline was founded by J. R. D. Tata as Tata Airlines in 1932; Tata himself flew its first single-engine de Havilland Puss Moth, carrying air mail from Karachi to Bombay’s Juhu aerodrome and later continuing to Madras (currently Chennai).
- After World War II, it became a public limited company and was renamed as Air India.
- On 21 February 1960, it took delivery of its first Boeing 707 named Gauri Shankar and became the first Asian airline to induct a jet aircraft in its fleet.