Mittu Chandilya, 33, chosen to head AirAsia India

AirAsia India on Wednesday announced the appointment of 33-year-old Mittu Chandilya as its chief executive officer, who will take charge on June 1.

India-born Mittu, whose name Mrithyunjay Chandilya was shortened by family friends because they could not pronounce his name, is a Singapore-based management consultant whose last appointment was as the head of the Asia-Pacific division of Egon Zehnder International, a firm focused on advisory leadership in aviation, travel and hospitality.

Incidentally seven months back, Chandilya was chosen by the international men's lifestyle magazine 'August Man' as an A-lister.

He left India at the age of 17 and lived in the US, China, Malaysia and Singapore. Father of two sons — Rishi and Rohan — Mittu, went to boarding school (Rishi Valley in Andhra Pradesh) at the age of nine. He also trained under Ramesh Krishnan as a junior professional tennis player.

"Mittu has always been a passionate follower of the aviation industry, and in his last role at Egon Zehnder, took leadership in the travel and hospitality segment where his primary focus was airlines and aviation," said a release from AirAsia.

Chandilya, who has MBA degrees from INSEAD, France/Singapore and from Tsinghua University, Beijing, has promised to provide a new meaning of flying for Indian consumers.

"I am a native of Chennai and I am excited about returning to India to revolutionise the air travel industry here. I am looking forward to being part of the dynamic AirAsia family, and most importantly, to bring a whole new meaning to the word 'flying' to consumers in India," he was quoted in a statement.

AirAsia India is a 49:30:21 joint venture company between Air Asia, Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace. The company, which has applied for a no-objection certificate to the civil aviation ministry, will be headquartered in Chennai.

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