Stefan Sukumar is likely to survive the axe and retain his job as the Chief of Training at Air India (AI).
The AI board had formed a two-member committee when it last met on November 18 to look into the "process of recruitment" that was followed to appoint Sukumar and submit a report within a fortnight. On the same day, the board had sacked Pawan Arora as the chief operating officer of AI Express.
Hired at an annual package of Rs 1.2 crore, Sukumar’s appointment had run into trouble after the revelation that AI had not even advertised for the post. The committee had detailed discussions with Sukumar and AI officials.
"Sukumar had offers from two international airlines for the same post and AI needed to decide quickly as he would have otherwise taken up some other offer. Also, he was considered the ideal candidate at a time when AI is all set to join the Star Alliance grouping of airlines," said an official.
"Sukumar has worked with Lufthansa’s flight training department and knows the requirements for Star Alliance," the official added.
On the argument that the appointment was not as per regulations of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation as Sukumar does not have a rating for Boeing 777, AI has told the committee that Sukumar's would be an administrative post while there would be separate designated training heads at the airline.