Just short of completing four years, Sanjiv Kapoor has resigned as chief commercial officer (COO) at full-service airline Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines. Tata Sons holds 51% in the airline. Confirming the news, the airline said, “Mr. Sanjiv Kapoor has resigned from his position due to personal reasons and will be discharging his official duties till December 31, 2019.”
The airline’s chief strategy officer, Vinod Kannan, a Singapore Airlines veteran, would take over as the new COO, the airline said. “Mr. Kapoor’s dedication and contributions to Vistara in the past four years have been well appreciated. The management of Vistara respects his decision and wishes him the very best,” said a Vistara spokesperson. Earlier this year, Kannan was inducted into Vistara after having served as COO of Scoot, a no-frills carrier operated by Singapore Airlines.
A native of Kolkata, Kapoor was responsible for managing a wide portfolio of Vistara’s commercial and planning functions, including strategy development, network planning, pricing and revenue management, sales and distribution, product development, branding, marketing, and customer experience. He was also responsible for in-flight services and ground operations of the airline, which has a market share of 5.1% in India.
Kapoor has led Vistara’s measured expansion in India and quickened the pace ever since the demise of Jet Airways, another full-service airline, early this year. In June, Kapoor had announced a significant network expansion with the addition of 62 new flights to and from Mumbai and Delhi. These new flights represented an over 50% increase in the airline’s network.
In 2018, when the Indian aviation industry was going through a phase of profitless growth—where passenger traffic was rising only because airfares were low—Kapoor was the only aviation executive to publicly say, “Airfares are so low that we are stealing people out of buses and taxis at fares that simply don’t cover costs.”
With an MBA degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in computer science from Dartmouth College, U.S., Kapoor has spent over two decades in the airline industry. Prior to joining to Vistara, he was the chief commercial officer at budget carrier SpiceJet.