Vinod Kannan, the chief commercial officer at Scoot, a no-frill carrier operated by Singapore Airlines, will join Vistara as chief strategy officer from June, the airline said in a statement on Tuesday.
At present, former SpiceJet executive, Sanjiv Kapoor is the chief strategy and commercial officer at Vistara, which is a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines.
Kapoor will continue on his role as chief commercial officer at the airline after the induction of Kannan, which comes at a time when the airline plans to launch its international operations.
“As Vistara accelerates its growth and prepares to take the next leap in its journey of becoming a global brand, certain changes have been introduced in the leadership structure. Strategy and commercial are cornerstones of any airline’s business, and these two areas will be bolstered to ensure focus on key priorities," Vistara said in a statement.
Kannan, who joined Singapore Airlines as direct marketing executive in 2001, has been a general manager with the airline at Indonesia and Italy before being appointed as a vice president in 2016.
He has an electrical engineering degree from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and an executive MBA from UCLA NUS.
A senior Vistara official told Mint that the airline is splitting the chief commercial and strategy officer role so that each role could now get more focus, especially at a time when the airline plans its foray into international operations.
“It should be noted that the CSCO (chief strategy and commercial officer) role at Vistara spanned what are typically at least three C-level roles including strategy (network planning, alliances, and airline partnerships), distribution, pricing, and revenue management, sales, marketing, customer experience, inflight services, catering, frequent flyer programme, cargo, etc," said the official, requesting anonymity.
“(Vinod) Kannan will look at the strategy, which includes network planning, alliances, and airline partnerships, while (Sanjiv) Kapoor will look at the others like distribution, pricing, and revenue management, sales, marketing, customer experience, inflight services, catering, frequent flyer programme, cargo," the official added.
In March 2019, Vistara reported carrying 4.7 lakh passengers with a domestic market share of 4.2% in a market dominated by IndiGo with 46.9% and SpiceJet with 13.6%. Vistara’s market share in March is a marginal improvement over what was reported in the same time a year ago, as per official data available with the government.