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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday gave security clearance to Air India CEO-designate Campbell Wilson. The security clearance from the Central government has paved the way for Campbell Wilson to take charge of Air India, a senior official said.

Tata Sons had on May 12 announced the appointment of Campbell Wilson as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of Air India after taking over the loss-making carrier on January 27.

A senior official told news agency PTI that the home ministry has given the security clearance to Campbell Wilson. No more details were shared by the official.

Air India spokesperson was also sent a query regarding the clearance to Campbell Wilson but no immediate response was received.

Under civil aviation rules, clearance of the home ministry is mandatory for the appointment of key personnel at airlines, including foreigners.

Weeks after taking over Air India carrier, Tata Sons named Turkish Airlines' former Chairman Lyker Ayci as Air India's MD and CEO. Lyker Ayci was supposed to take over the MD and CRO of the carrier in April.

Lyker Ayci, however, declined to join the group amid concerns expressed over his appointment in certain quarters.

Campbell Wilson was the CEO of Singapore Airlines' subsidiary Scoot Air. Singapore Airlines is a joint venture partner of Tata Group in full-service carrier Vistara.

After working with Singapore Airlines, Campbell Wilson worked for the carrier in Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. In 2011, he returned to Singapore, as the founding CEO of Scoot, which he led until 2016.

At Singapore Airlines, Campbell Wilson also served as the senior vice president of sales and marketing, where he oversaw pricing, distribution, e-commerce, merchandising, brand and marketing, global sales and the airline's overseas offices. In April 2020, he returned for a second stint as the CEO of Scoot Air.

Twenty-six years ago, Campbell Wilson started off as a management trainee with Singapore Airlines.

In a message to Air India employees on June 20, Campbell Wilson said the airline's "best years are yet to come". He said the journey to make Air India a world-class airline will require efforts that are "big and small, easy and difficult".

In October last year, through a competitive bidding process, the government sold Air India to Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of Tata Sons for 18,000 crore. Air India was started by the Tata Group in 1932 and the carrier was nationalised in 1953.

(With PTI inputs)

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