Austrian Baldauf is Air India's first COO
04/08/2010

Loss-making national carrier Air India announced the appointment of Capt Gustav Baldauf as its first chief operating officer (COO) on Tuesday.

Online PR News – 08-April-2010 – – Loss-making national carrier Air India announced the appointment of Capt Gustav Baldauf as its first chief operating officer (COO) on Tuesday. The Austrian national will be first expatriate in the management team of the country's flagship airline.

The appointment of Capt Baldauf, currently senior director, marketing, at Air Canada, was approved at Tuesday's AI board meeting. His first Indian posting was with Jet Airways in 2005 as vice-president, flight operations. He has over 26 years of flying experience in Austrian Airlines and has been a type rated examiner/instructor.

Apart from JRD Tata, the national carrier has seen quite a few senior pilots at its helm. Capt K Cheddha was CMD of Indian Airlines from 1985 and Capt D K Bose was managing director of Air India about 15-20 years ago.

Having an expatriate head an airline was a rage in the country's aviation industry till a few years ago. Now only Jet Airways has expatriate CEO and COO.

"The board has asked me and the new COO to present a comprehensive turnaround plan within the next 30 days with milestones that they will review," said AI chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav. "Specific committees have been set up to provide inputs to the management. These committees are audit, finance, strategy and HR and these will help monitor progress on the turn around plan," he said.

Air India had last month appointed Mahindra & Mahindra vice-chairman Anand Mahindra, Ambuja Realty Group Chairman Harsh Neotia, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry secretary-general Amit Mitra and former Indian Air Force chief Fali H Major as independent directors to advise on the turnaround of the company.