Railways service official to head Air India

Railways service official to head  Air India

Engineer-turned-bureaucrat Ashwani Lohani, an Indian Railway Service officer, was on Thursday appointed the new Chairman and Managing Director of Air India with the task of making the national carrier’s turnaround plan a success.

Lohani, who is presently the chief of Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, will succeed Rohit Nandan, who is credited with leading the national carrier to its operational profit for the first time recently after the erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines merged in 2007. He will have three-year tenure from the date of joining office.

The 1980-batch officer of Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineering, who has four engineering degrees and found a place in Limca Book of Records for his feat, will have the tough task of improving the finances of Air India, which is on a Rs 30,000 crore turnaround plan aided by government.

The government’s surprise choice for the national carrier’s top post came almost an year of search. Rohit Nandan, who is now empanelled as the secretary, was given extension last year after the government failed to find a replacement while a section in the Civil Aviation Ministry wanted Nandan to continue for some more time.

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