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India-born Mittu Chandilya named AirAsia country CEO

Air Asia India will have India-born management consultant Mittu Chandilya as its CEO, with the AirAsia Group Board formally approving his appointment.

'I am pleased to announce that the Board of Air Asia India has appointed Mittu Chandilya as CEO,' AirAsia group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes tweeted on Thursday.

The Civil Aviation Ministry has for the past few weeks been seeking names of AirAsia India's top officials, including the CEO and other directors, for mandatory security clearances before it approves the proposal to launch flight operations in the country.

Post-approval, the airline has to move aviation regulator DGCA to get its flying permit or the scheduled operator permit (SOP).

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has said the airline was yet to submit names of its directors and CEO. 'I don't expect any problems. We have already sought the information,' he had said on Wednesday. 33-year-old Chandilya is a Singapore-based management consultant whose last appointment was as the Head of the Asia -Pacific division of global search firm Egon Zehnder International, which is focused on advisory leadership in Aviation, Travel and Hospitality, among other things. Fernandes along with Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace has formed a 49:30:21 joint venture to launch the airline in the country, which will be headquartered in Chennai.

'Mittu is coming home to change the Indian travel and make it affordable for all Indians to fly,' the AirAsia chief said.

The government last month cleared AirAsia's proposal to invest Rs 80.98 crore in Air Asia India, marking the clearance of the project's first step before seeking a licence to fly.

Chandilya's appointment was made last month itself when Fernandes in an earlier tweet had said: 'Selected the CEO for AirAsia India. A very smart boy from the South, Madras. An amazing CV will impress all.'
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