Abrol to take over as AirAsia India CEO from Chandilya

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Bengaluru, March 17 (IANS) Amar Abrol, till recently with Tune Money, will be the new chief executive officer (CEO) of AirAsia India, succeeding Mittu Chandilya whose contract ends on March 31, the airline said on Thursday.

Abrol’s appointment will take effect from April 1, but Chandilya will continue with the company till April-end for smooth transition of the CEO role, said AirAsia in a statement here.

The low cost airline is a $30-million joint venture between Indian conglomerate Tata Sons and Malaysia’s AirAsia Berhad.

While AirAsia Berhad has 49 percent equity in the airline, Tata Sons holds 30 percent and Telstra Tradeplace 21 percent.

Under Chandilya’s leadership, the Indo-Malaysian airline had flown 1.8 million passengers in a fleet of six aircraft on 12 routes across the country since its launch on June 12, 2014.

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The airline claimed that it had posted a whopping 134 percent growth in passenger traffic during the third quarter (October-December) of 2015, with five lakh customers in 3,376 flights as against 1444 flights in like period of 2015.

“Chandilya led the airline from the front in a competitive market. The board appreciates his contribution,” company chairman S. Ramadorai said in the statement.

Prior to joining the low-cost financial products delivery start-up Tune Money in 2013, Abrol was with the US-based financial services multinational American Express for 19 years, leading diverse teams in Britain, India and South East Asia.

“In Abrol, we have a strong successor, with years of experience in customer delivery, which will be critical to the airline’s future. We are confident that he will lead the company into its next stage of growth,” Ramadorai added.

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A graduate from Delhi University, Abrol is also a qualified chartered accountant.

“As AirAsia India is poised for growth, I look forward to giving many more Indians the opportunity to access the promise of Indian civil aviation,” Abrol said on the occasion.

In a related development, the company appointed Ankur Khanna as the new chief financial officer and Kiran Jain as the commercial head.

“Khanna joins from Air France/KLM where he was regional finance head for the Gulf region in Dubai, while Jain was till recently with the Delhi international airport of the GMR group as head of marketing and route development, the company statement said.

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