Air India: Tata Group May Appoint Alex Cruz as CEO, Reports Say

Alex Cruz headed British Airways for five years until 2020, before which he also managed a Spanish low-cost airline Vueling. Tata Group has not confirmed the news.

Highlights:

  • British Airways’ ex-CEO Alex Cruz may take charge as Air India CEO, unconfirmed reports say.
  • Air India under Tata Group took the first flight last Wednesday.
  • The airline is now in the process of formulating new board members.

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Air India

Air India may get the aviation veteran Alex Cruz as its Chief Executive Officers, unconfirmed reports say. Cruz was the Chairman and CEO of British Airways for five years till 2020. He also headed a Spanish low-cost airline Vueling. Cruz resigned from British Airways during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when the airline cut 13,000 jobs. He is currently shown as an investor, board member and advisor on some companies. He completed a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Ohio State University and was a professor at IESE Business School.

Tata Group has not responded to the news yet. Tata Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary Talace Private Limited took over Air India a week before and is now finalizing the C-suite executives for the airline. The chances are high that Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran will lead Air India’s new board.

Tata Group has not announced its plan for the airline. It manages its aviation wing with four airlines parallelly – AirAsia India, Air India, Vistara and Air India Express.

Ratan Tata Welcomed Air India Passengers

New Air India under Tata Group took its first flight last Wednesday. Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Trusts and Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, welcomed the passengers on board with a welcome note played in the flight. The same message was posted as a video clip on the company’s official Twitter handle. “Tata Group welcomes Air India’s new customers and is excited to work together to make Air India the airline of choice in terms of passenger comfort and service. Tata Group welcomes Air India’s new customers,” Ratan Tata said in the welcome note.

Tata Group established Tata Airlines in 1932, which was renamed as Air India in 1946. The government of India took control of Air India in 1953 as its national carrier, but JRD Tata continued as its chairman until 1977. With the privatization of Air India, the airline returned to Tata Group nearly after seven decades. Although Air India disinvestment was completed at the end of January 2022, Tata Group won the bid in October 2021 for Rs 18,000 crores. Among the same, Rs 15,300 crore was taken over as debt, and Rs 2,700 crore was paid as cash.

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Ria is a lead news writer at Aviation Scoop. She writes from dawn to dusk, reads in the evenings, and draws at some ungodly hours. She loathes human interaction and finds solace in the sweet, musky smell of old books, and rain.

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