Who Is Harpreet A De Singh, First Woman CEO To Head An Indian Airline?

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In a first, an Indian airline has appointed a woman as the chief executive officer (CEO). Creating history in Indian aviation, Harpreet A De Singh earned the position of the CEO with Air India’s regional subsidiary Alliance Air. She is currently working as the executive director for flight safety in Air India and will soon move to her new post.

The Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, Rajiv Bansal issued the appointment order on Friday citing that Singh “will hold the charge of Alliance Air CEO post till further orders,” as quoted by TOI. Additionally, Captain Nivedita Bhasin, who is one of the airline’s senior commanders and currently flies Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will take over Singh’s current position.

Also Read: In A First, Two Women Officers To Operate Helicopters From Indian Navy Warships

Who is Harpreet Singh, the first woman to head an Indian carrier?

  • Singh obtained a licence for flying Commercial planes from Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) in 1988.
  • She was the first woman pilot to be selected by Air India in the same year. However, due to some health problems, she could not fly at that time.
  • Her expertise, however, was useful in the area of flight safety and she also headed the Indian Women Pilot Association.
  • Under her guidance, the association, which also includes Bhasin and other senior women commanders like Captain Kshamta Bajpai (Air India pilot), works to inspire aspiring pilots.
  • She is the first woman chief of flight safety in India and also the first woman head of quality management systems in an airline, IBTimes reported.
  • In January 2020, Singh was rewarded with the prestigious Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Excellence Award for “Outstanding Personal achievement and Distinguished services to the nation.”


  • She is also Chairman of ‘Aeronautical Society of India’, Mumbai Branch and Council Member at Headquarters of AeSI.
  • Her previous role included heading the emergency response in an airline.

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