May 29, 2020
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Sushma Chawla

She’s broken into a space so far dominated by men, becoming the first woman CMD of Indian Airlines. Here are her plans for the airlines:

Sushma Chawla
Sushma Chawla
How does it feel to be the CMD of IA?
It is a matter of pleasure to be the first woman chief executive. It is a challenging assignment.

Any special plans for the airline?
There are many plans in the pipeline, but the objective is to make IA the premium airline.

With all the private competition?
Healthy competition spurs us to perform better. IA has the resources and expertise to remain the dominant airline.

Any strategies to counter your rivals?
IA has strived to upgrade its product and adopt innovative marketing measures. It will follow this approach which has proved to be positive.

How will you tackle IA's losses?
In the last two years, IA has made profits. In 2003-04, it made a profit of Rs 44.17 crore and in 2004-05, we estimate a profit of Rs 18 crore.

Any plans to lower retirement age?
The age of retirement in IA is 58 as per company rules, and there are no plans to change it.

Do we expect to see the cabin crew in new designer uniforms?
All aspects of our image, including uniforms, are under review based on passenger feedback.

WIll IA see more foreign destinations?
Several proposals for expanding IA's international network are under consideration.

Any plans to buy new aircraft?
There is a proposal to purchase 43 aircraft at an estimated US$2 billion.

What about the Re 1 tickets launched by other airlines?
Such things are gimmicks. New airlines sometimes do these things to grab media attention.

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