In a major achievement for Indian airlines, a woman has become the CEO of an Indian carrier, with the government appointing Harpreet A De Singh as the CEO of Air India's (AI) regional subsidiary Alliance Air.

AI CMD Rajiv Bansal issued an order saying Harpreet Singh "will hold the charge of Alliance Air CEO post till further orders."

Harpreet A De Singh
Harpreet A De Singh. Twitter

Singh is currently AI's executive director (flight safety). According to reports, in place of her, the new ED of AI will now be Captain Nivedita Bhasin, one of the airline's most senior commanders currently flying Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Lesser known facts about Harpreet Singh

  • Harpreet Singh was the first woman pilot to be selected by Air India in 1988.
  • Though she could not fly due to health reasons, she has been very active in the area of flight safety.
  • The Indian Women Pilot Association is headed by Singh.
  • The association has Bhasin and other senior women commanders like Captain Kshamta Bajpai as well who are seen as role models by budding pilots.
  • She is also Chairman of 'Aeronautical Society of India', Mumbai Branch & Council Member at Headquarters of AeSI.

  • She obtained Commercial Pilot's Licence from IGRUA in 1988 and was selected as first woman pilot in Air India.
  • She is the First Lady Chief of Flight Safety in India and also the first woman Head of Quality Management Systems in an airline. 
  • She is also the first woman to head the Emergency Response in an airline and conceptualize the 'Angels of Air India' for Humanitarian Response.
  • Her previous role included the additional responsibility to Head the Environment Management and Green Initiatives, besides the Fuel Management and Operational Efficiency Programme.