The government on Thursday announced the appointment of Ashwani Lohani of the “Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers” (IRSME) as the new managing director and chairman of Air India.
The decision was taken by the “Appointments Committee of the Cabinet” (ACC) which approved the appointment during its meeting held in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The appointment of Mr. Lohani has been confirmed. Relevant departments and Air India have been informed,” senior Civil Aviation ministry official told media persons here.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said in a statement that ACC has approved the appointment of Lohani, a 1980-batch officer of the IRSME, for a tenure of three years.
Currently, Lohani is on a deputation with the government of Madhya Pradesh.
Lohani has been appointed at a crucial time — when the national passenger carrier is in the middle of its turnaround and financial restructuring plans (TRP).
Lohani takes over from the incumbent Rohit Nandan, who has been credited with having stabilised the national passenger carrier’s operations, streamlining human resource (HR) issues and meeting the initial financial norms laid down in Air India’s TRP.
Air India’s entry into the global airline’s pact Star Alliance has also been accredited to Nandan.
Meanwhile, the baton at Air India will not change hands immediately, as Nandan’s tenure has been extended by another month.
Nandan’s previous extension as Air India’s chairman and managing director was supposed to have ended on August 21.