Ashwani Lohani appointed Air India CMD for second time

Ashwani Lohani. File

Ashwani Lohani. File

Ex Chairman of Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani, was appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of debt ridden national carrier Air India on Wednesday.

He had earlier headed the organisation for two years from August 2015 to August 2017.

Mr. Lohani will replace Pradeep Singh Kharola, who has been appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Mr. Kharola, a 1985-batch IAS officer of the Karnataka cadre, was in November 2017 named the CMD of Air India Ltd. He took over the reins of the debt-ridden national carrier on January 2018.

Mr. Lohani retired as top bureaucrat of the Railway Board, the apex decision making body of the Ministry of Railways in December 2018. Considered close to the present regime, he was picked up to run the national airlines after his name was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).

PTI adds...

Mr Lohani, 60, who is an officer of the Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME), was appointed the Railway Board chairman in August 2017 and retired in December 2018.

One of his first decisions as Railway Board chairman was to ban gifts and ceremonial welcomes and farewells. He is also the man behind Vande Bharat Express (Train 18), India’s fastest train that will have its inaugural run from Delhi to Varanasi. It will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 15.

As the Railways’ most senior bureaucrat, Mr. Lohani brought the prestigious bullet train to India.

As head of both — the Railways as well as Air India — he was able to bridge the gap between his office and employees, using WhatsApp groups mostly, say those who have worked with him.

Mr. Lohani was also ITDC chairman as well as director of the Rail Museum in the capital.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 2:44:22 am |