Board clears appointment of full-time COOs for AI and AI Express

New Delhi: Air India's board of directors has cleared a proposal for appointing a full-time COO for the state-owned carrier. The move comes a little over a month after the appointment of Rohit Nandan as chairman and managing director of AI and over six months after former chief operating officer (COO), Gustav Baldauf, made an unceremonious exit.

The board of the beleaguered carrier, which met in New Delhi last week, has also cleared the proposal for appointing a COO for AI Express, its low fare subsidiary that operates on international routes.

According to reports, a search panel has been formed which will short-list candidates for both the posts. Both the COOs will report to AI CMD Rohit Nandan.

After the Baldauf experience, it has been decided to look for India candidates, from within and outside AI.

"We will be issuing an advertisement shortly," a source said.

While Baldauf remained at  the helm only for nine months, Pawan Arora, who took over as AI Express COO in October last year was sacked within a month of his appointment by the AI board.

The board acted after a belated realisation that Arora was removed by the DGCA from key flight safety posts prior to his appointment.