The government on Wednesday appointed IAS officer Rajiv Bansal as the Chairman and Managing Director of national passenger carrier Air India. Bansal, presently Financial Advisor to the Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry, has been given additional charge of Air India’s CMD. He succeeds Ashwani Lohani who was on Wednesday named as Chairman of the Railway Board. Bansal is a 1988 batch IAS officer from the Nagaland cadre. He has earlier had a stint with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) between 2006 and 2008. An official statement said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved Bansal’s appointment. “The competent authority has approved the assignment of additional charge of the post of Chairman and Managing Director, Air India to Rajiv Bansal, IAS (NL 88), Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, for a period of three months, or until further orders, whichever is earlier,” the ACC executive order read.
Bansal’s appointment came a few hours after Lohani was named Chairman of the Railway Board in place of AK Mittal, who stepped down in the wake of repeated train accidents.
Lohani was made Air India Chairman two years ago on the back of his success in turning around the India Tourism Development Corp and the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corp. He was currently engaged in giving shape to Air India’s global expansion plans, at a time when the government had decided on strategic divestment in the airline.