Chawla, who was the Deputy Managing Director, will be holding the post in an officiating capacity according to the appointment orders.
She replaced Sunil Arora, an IAS Rajasthan cadre officer who has spent five years in the post. Arora returns to his parent cadre, where he would be given an assignment on joining.
Chawla, a post-graduate from the Delhi School of Economics and a topper throughout, joined IA as a management trainee in 1971. She steadily climbed the corporate ladder in the airline to become its first woman Director in 1996.
She also worked as Regional Director of IA in the Northern Region and then rose to become Director (Finance).
She was appointed Deputy MD in September last year, with the responsibility of several departments including Finance.
Meanwhile, the government has appointed a Search Committee to lok for a permanent CMD for the airline.