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AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya to Leave the Airline Soon, Successor to be Decided

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February 14
11:15 PM 2016

AirAsia India's Managing Director and CEO Mittu Chandilya is deciding to leave his position in the Malaysian low-cost airline. It's only been two years since Chandilya joined AirAsia in mid-2013. Some inside sources believe that Chandilya's decision to leave was caused by the parent company's micro-management in the Indian unit he led.

It is believed that the micro-management practice by the parent company was due to high expectations on the Indian unit. The micro-managing rose an issue and internal crisis between the Indian management and parent company. Reports say that the Malaysian parent company has been micro-managing the AirAsia India unit for the recent six months.

Chandilya has expressed his displeasure of the parent company's practices with the Indian unit. Other sources said that AirAsia India is completely run by parent AirAsia which decides vital issues like network planning and revenue management, as quoted by Times of India

AirAsia India is a joint venture whereas AirAsia Bhd owns 49 percent in the airline, Tata Sons Ltd holds 41 percent, and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace Pvt. Ltd holds the rest. Chandilya is not the only one to have expressed disfavour on how the parent company manage AirAsia India. Bhatia, owning 10 percent of the AirAsia India joint venture has also raised the issue. They had even threatened to take it up to the court.

According to The Economic Times, Chandilya is likely to leave the position when his current two-year contract with the airline ends. His current contract will end as soon as March, and it's believed that Chandilya will not renew it. 

The company's board have not decided on who would be appointed to hold the position left by Chandilya. But, according to Livemint, it's likely that a new executive from the parent airline will take over in the next months. It's also reported that AirAsia will soon hold a board meeting to decide the new CEO. Meanwhile, Chandilya has been asked to remain in the position until a decision is finalized.

AirAsia India's growth remain slow and is even getting slower. The airline is yet to make profits ever since it started operating in India on mid-2014. In about a year, the airline has now five fleets, which is a minimum number for an Indian airline to operate according to regulations.

AirAsia Mittu Chandilya will leave the struggling airline in the next few months after the board decided on his successor. The parent company's alleged micro-management was reported to have caused Chandilya to leave the airline, which is now still struggling with management and on managing finances amid intense competition and prolonged losses. 

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