AirAsia India safety head Sumant Mishra resigns

Written by Press Trust of India | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 1 2014, 00:36am hrs
AirAsiaBoth Mishra and AirAsia India spokesperson were unavailable for comments. (Reuters)
AirAsia India's head of safety Sumant Mishra has resigned, three months after the domestic arm of the Malaysian budget airline AriAsia got off the ground, sources said.

The airline, however, has found the replacement, who will soon be taking over the position left vacant by Mishra, a source close to the development told PTI here.

"Sumant Mishra has resigned from the top job and he is now serving the mandatory six-month notice before leaving the carrier," the source said.

Mishra, who had earlier been with the now grounded Kingfisher Airlines as chief of flight operations, joined AirAsia India last year, when it was in the process of launching operations.

Both Mishra and AirAsia India spokesperson were unavailable for comments.

"The airline with just three months into operations, is in transition phase where a number of people are joining it and some may leave it as well. It has already found a replacement for Mishra and he will be joining as the head of safety very shortly," the source said.

Mishra, meanwhile, will remain with the airline till early next year and his services will be utilised as a flying commander, the source said.

According to DGCA norms, serving a six-month notice period is mandatory for a commander before leaving an airline.

Under this rule only, the aviation regulator early this month served notices to 22 former pilots of low-cost carrier IndiGo for not serving the required notice period before parting ways with the Gurgaon-based airline.

AirAsia, which is a 49:30:21 joint venture between Malaysian no-frills carrier AirAsia, Tata Sons and Telestra TradePlace of Arun Bhatia, started its operations on June 12 this year.

At present it operates to Goa, Chennai and Kochi from its Bangalore base.

From September 5, it will add Jaipur and Chandigarh to its network.

Confirming Mishra's resignation, AirAsia India in a statement said it is open to retain him in any other similar position if he changes his mind during the notice period.

"Sumant is one of the best persons we have and we are fortunate to have him with us and in a role that would continue to allow him to grow," AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya said in statement.

"Mishra is a dear friend and as such we don't discuss on our current employees," he added.

As AirAsia scales up its operations, the airline will be building its scalability and strengthening operations and changes are a critical part of the process, it said.