Despite protesting to the end, the Air India management today finally gave in to pressure to dismiss Pawan Arora, chief operating officer of Air India Express, the low-cost international arm with the federal government carrier.
An AI spokesperson confirmed Arora had been asked to go and said S Chandrasekhar, director (finance), would assist Arvind Jadhav, who is chairman and managing director of both AI and AI Express, till the time a new COO was appointed.
Arora’s appointment was embroiled inside a controversy, following data surfaced that he had been earlier removed from a position of test pilot by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The civil aviation ministry had then asked the AI board to reconsider the appointment. Questions had also been raised about non-renewal of Arora’s flight instructor licence.
Arora joined the airline in October and his appointment was cancelled inside a board meeting a month after. In the meeting, the independent and federal government directors had asked the management to cancel Arora’s appointment.
The management did not and even defied a letter inside the ministry asking it to eliminate Arora. This evening, however, the ministry issued fresh and final orders, asking the management to eliminate Arora.
The airline management is calling it unfortunate and autocratic. “Neither the management nor Arora was allowed or asked to justify (his stand) in any with the meetings. If we are asked to justify now, we will do it and put the situation for the require of the professional COO for AI Express,” said a senior AI official.
The official said it was not a very good factor that another person was chosen following interviewing 170 candidates after which suddenly asked to leave. Arora did not eat calls on his cell phone.
“Such decisions will impact the standing Air India has and also the range of applicants will fall drastically following we call for applications again,” said the official.
Arora did not eat calls on his cell phone. He had served the Indian Air Force for 18 years worked with Jet Airways, Paramount Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and IndiGo. He also served at the DGCA in your year.