Ending months of speculations, AirAsia India on Thursday said Amar Abrol will replace Mittu Chandilya as its CEO with effect from next month.
Chandilya would continue with the airline until the end of April to ensure a smooth transition of the CEO role.
Abrol, who has over 20 years of experience, was most recently the CEO of Tune Money, a startup that aims to deliver low-cost financial products in South East Asia. Chandilya has led AirAsia India from June 1, 2013 and under his leadership, the airline has established a fleet of six aircraft, covering 12 routes and carrying over 1.8 million passengers.
In the October-December 2015 quarter of operation, AirAsia India clocked a 134 per cent growth in passenger traffic as it flew over half-a-million customers, and operated 3,376 flights as compared to 1,444 flights in the same period of 2014.
Before joining Tune Money in 2013, Abrol spent 19 years with American Express, leading diverse teams across multiple markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, India and Malaysia.
Born and raised in India, Abrol graduated from Delhi University and is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Commenting on the appointment, AirAsia India Chairman S Ramadorai said, “Mittu Chandilya led the airline team from the front through its launch and establishment in an intensely competitive market.
“The Board deeply appreciates his contribution. In Abrol, we have a strong successor, with years of experience in customer delivery, which will be critical to the airline’s future. Together with his senior management team, we are confident that Abrol will lead AirAsia India into its next stage of growth.”
Abrol said: “AirAsia India is poised for strong growth. I look forward to leading the team and together, giving many more Indians the opportunity to access the exciting promise of Indian civil aviation.”
AirAsia India today also announced the appointment of Ankur Khanna as the Chief Financial Officer and Kiran Jain as the head of Commercial.
Khanna joins from Air France/KLM, where he recently headed Regional Finance for the Middle East/Gulf region based in Dubai.
Jain has over 25 years of aviation-related experience covering airports, airlines and duty free. Jain most recently headed the Airport Marketing and Route Development function at Delhi International Airport. Chandilya said: “The past three years has been a rewarding and enriching journey for me and AirAsia India. I am delighted that AirAsia India is today a customer-preferred airline in the sectors that it operates. I will truly miss each member in our young organisation without whose passion and energy none of this would be possible.”