Last month, the Tata group took management control of Air Asia India from Air Asia side of the board. It started with Sunil Bhaskaran, a Tata executive being appointed as the CEO and MD. The newest member of the AirAsia India management team is Sanjay Kumar, who joins as the Chief Operating Officer.
Sanjay Kumar is a veteran in the Indian aviation space. With a career spanning over 25 years, he has worked with the likes of Air Sahara, Royal Airlines and SpiceJet. His previous stint was at IndiGo where he was the Chief Commercial Officer. He put in his papers at IndiGo around the same time when Aditya Ghosh resigned. Mr. Kumar will be assuming charge from December 3, 2018.
At AirAsia India, Sanjay Kumar would be responsible for commercial operations and shaping next phase growth. He will be reporting to the new CEO & MD, Sunil Bhaskaran.
The AirAsia India management team has now an uphill battle. From legal troubles which have been plaguing AirAsia for some time to difficult business conditions. And it doesn’t help that their competitor is IndiGo, with their ever-growing network and large war chest. But Sanjay knows the thought process of the competition and should be able to get Air Asia out of its limbo and shake it up to grow the airline.
Changes in management are not new in the tough Indian aviation landscape. Executives range from industry outsider to expats who’ve proved their metal around the world. But the airline business in India is a totally different ball game. Hence, it is good to see someone who has been in this space for such a long time to take charge of operations at AirAsia India. While the Tatas are doing their due diligence with Jet Airways, the AirAsia India management team has their hands full to revive and grow the airline.
We wish Sanjay Kumar all the best for his new assignment.