Air India stated COO Gustav Baldauf resigned on 28-Feb-2011 after less than 12 months in the position (PTI/Dow Jones/AFP/Financial Express/Hindu Business Line/Hindustan Times, 28-Feb-2011). His resignation was reportedly a two-lined letter stating that "he wished to quit". The carrier accepted his resignation and Mr Baldauf will reportedly leave the company in Mar-2011 after serving one month of notice. Mr Baldauf last week was served a show cause notice following his reported remarks about political interference in the airline's day-to-day affairs which were reportedly in violation of the code of conduct (PTI/Hindustan Times/DNA/Economic Times, 25-Feb-2011). Mr Baldauf, on 23-Feb-2011, stated that the government should remain committed to reviving the carrier without being involved in the carrier's day-to-day operations, stating: "It is certainly a difficult environment, in the Indian environment, the stakeholder - the government - plays too prominent a role in operations" (DNA/Financial Express, 23-Feb-2011). Mr Baldauf was appointed in Apr-2011 to help restructure the ailing flag carrier and was the first expatriate in its management. During his tenure, he drew up a turnaround plan for the airline, which included moving excess staff into other business units, increasing fleet size and setting up network hubs in the country. The plan is yet to be approved by the federal government.
Air India COO resigns
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Air India launched services to Melbourne and Sydney in 2013 but the Australia-India market is still dominated by Southeast Asian flag carriers. Singapore Airlines has been able to maintain a leading 41% share of the market. Malaysia Airlines also still carries more Australia-India passengers than Air India.
Attracting more nonstop flights from Air India, or the possible launch of nonstop flights to India by Australian carriers, will not be easy despite growing demand. Southeast Asia’s network airlines have a competitive advantage as they serve several gateways in both Australia and India. Southeast Asia’s growing medium/long haul LCCs have also started to compete in the Australia-India market and are well positioned to take a large share of the anticipated growth.