Ronojoy Dutta, who has earlier served United Airlines executive and Air Sahara president, on Tuesday joined IndiGo as principal consultant. He will report to interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and founder Rahul Bhatia.
Dutta will be responsible for developing a five-year plan for the airline, IndiGo announced on Tuesday.
He is the latest in a series of veteran global airline executives hired by IndiGo as it prepares to expand its global presence. The largest domestic airline by the number of passengers flown, IndiGo inducted the 200th aircraft to its fleet on Tuesday.
The airline commands 40 per cent of the domestic market share. It also plans to fly soon to Central Asia and Europe. To support its growth plans, IndiGo has been hiring foreign executives with experience in large airlines.
Its former CEO Aditya Ghosh resigned in April this year. Greg Taylor, an executive of United Airlines, was slated to take up that job. But, sources aware of the development said the process of appointment had been slowed, as the airline awaits regulatory clearance.
Dutta grew up in Shillong and studied at IIT-Kharagpur. After graduating, he worked at Voltas in Bengaluru and Kochi, before going to Harvard Business School in 1978.
After Harvard, he worked at Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the world’s top consultancy firms. Other Booz Allen ex-alumni include Rakesh Gangwal, the current promoter of IndiGo.
Both have a lot in common: They are IIT-Kharagpur alumni; have Master’s in business administration; and both led two of the largest US airlines.
In 1985, Dutta made the career-changing move to United Airlines, then poised to become a giant of the US aviation industry. He started out in charge of crew scheduling, and over the next few years, he went from one job to another in the airline before taking over as senior vice-president in charge of planning. In July 1999, he took over as the airline’s president.
He has been an advisor in restructuring of both Air Canada and US Airways and was also the president of Air Sahara for two years.