Change At The Top: Who Is Vistara’s New CEO?

To mark the new year, Vistara announced that it has officially appointed a new chief executive officer effective as of today. The Indian full-service carrier has been anticipating the change for some time, but exactly who is the new head of the company?

Vistara is looking to continue its momentum under the new chief. Photo: Getty Images

Plenty of expertise

In September, Simple Flying reported that Vistara’s previous CEO Leslie Thng would be moving to a senior position at Singapore Airlines. As a result, it was announced that Vistara’s chief commercial officer Vinod Kannan would be taking over at the top of the Harayana-headquartered carrier.

Those familiar with Kannan will note his vast experience in the industry as a key quality that will benefit the airline while he is the new CEO. After graduating from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), he joined Singapore Airlines in 2001 to hold numerous senior positions.

One notable role was as the CCO of Scoot, SIA’s budget subsidiary. He also conducted global network planning for the SIA group and also ran operations across the continents, including in Saudia Arabia, Italy, and Indonesia.

Kannan has only been with Vistara in the summer of 2019, joining as its chief strategy officer. He went on to lead several crucial departments, including Revenue Management, Network Planning, Marketing, Customer Experience, and Cabin Service functions.

A critical role

Vistara highlights that Kannan has been integral in “developing, executing, and sustaining the company’s corporate strategy and ensuring the airline’s commercial success.” Altogether, the executive has been crucial in Vistara’s expansion vision, which has seen the firm grow significantly domestically and internationally despite the challenges of the global health crisis.

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to carry forward the momentum that Mr. Leslie Thng has built during his time at Vistara. I look forward to continue strengthening Vistara’s position, in both – Domestic and International markets, along with such a capable and resilient team”, – Kannan in a company statement.

Deepak Rajawat has been chosen to fill Kannan’s previous spot as CCO. He has been with Vistara since it was founded eight years ago, navigating numerous senior responsibilities.

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Exciting prospects

Overall, this change comes following a period that has seen Vistara launch long-haul flights to Europe, plan flights to the United States, and take on new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. There are further additions expected, which will take the airline to even new heights.

“By deploying the Dreamliners we are able to operate quite efficiently to some of the biggest, most key points in the world. Not just from an operating perspective, but also economically because it is an efficient aircraft as compared to some of the others.” – Kannan told Simple Flying during the Future Flying Forum last year.

Kannan will be raring to keep the progress going in his new role. We will undoubtedly see more innovative expansions under the new leadership set up this year.

What are your thoughts about Vinod Kannan taking over as chief executive officer at Vistara? What do you make of the airline’s change of leadership? Let us know what you think of the overall move in the comment section.

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