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As Indian execs exit Indigo, expats take up top posts.

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NEW DELHI: The resignations by Indians at key management positions in  continue with the head of pilot training being the latest one to have quit the low-cost airline, which is bringing aboard expats to run the company as it prepares itself for international expansion.

“Captain Sanjiv Bhalla, chief pilot training, standards and quality assurance has also resigned from IndiGo,” said a source, who did not want to be identified.

Sources in the know also added that the airline may see a few more resignations from Indian executives over the next couple of months.

This resignation has come close on the heels of IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh resigning from the airline last week to start a new business venture.

Ghosh is being replaced by Greg Taylor, who has joined as an advisor and will be made president and CEO after regulatory approvals are in place. In his earlier stint with the airline in 2016-17, Taylor was as an executive vice-president of revenue management and network planning.

Two weeks prior to Ghosh’s resignation, Ajay Jasra, corporate communication head of the airline, had also resigned

There has been speculation that the induction of several expatriate managers in the past couple of years was a sore point for these Indian executives.

Expats have, over a period of two years, joined the airline across various functions that include Willy Boulter, Chief Strategy Officer, Michael Swiatek, Chief Planning Officer, Jason Herter, Vice-President, Operations Control Centre and Dispatch, and Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, Chief Operating Officer.

This speculation has, however, been denied by co-promoter and interim CEO Rahul Bhatia and Ghosh too.

“Aditya had been saying for the past few months that he wanted to get off the treadmill of running an airline, and the board finally had to accede to his wish. Aditya was at the helm all these years and we will miss him, but the company will not miss a heartbeat — the transition will be seamless,” Bhatia had told in an interview.

He also justified hiring expats by saying that the airline was planning for the future. “In the areas of network planning and revenue management, India doesn’t have resident expertise and we had to bring talent from overseas who have deep functional knowledge,” Bhatia said.

Ghosh had, in a recent interview, justified the shift to hire expats in airline by saying: “It is a process of evolution.”

“We need to put together strong building blocks for the future. As we have been saying for awhile, we have to build a world-class team that draws talent from all over the world. That would mean attracting the best, irrespective of which passport they carry.”

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