V. Thulasidas, a 1972 batch Indian Administrative Service officer, assumed office of managing director (MD) of Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL) for the third time on March 19, 2018. Earlier, he was appointed MD of KIAL twice in 2008 and 2016.
During the span of his career, he has held various positions. During the period 2003-08, he was appointed chairman and MD of Air India. Under his aegis, the country’s first low-cost international airline – Air India Express – was launched.
Apart from his stint at Air India, Thulasidas has been associated with the aviation and defence industry in several other capacities. He has worked as undersecretary with the Ministry of Civil Aviation besides being a member of the board of governors, IATA and Air Mauritius. From 2005 to 2007, he was chairman of the National Committee of Civil Aviation and was appointed president of the Aeronautical Society in India in February 2007. He was also the first chairman of the Federation of Indian Airlines.
An expert in the aviation sector, Thulasidas is of the view that domestic aviation in the country has been growing at the rate of around 20 per cent annually. “Kannur airport too is benefiting from the growth trend besides getting a major push from the strong presence of non-resident Indians in the region. However, clearance from the centre for commencement of foreign carrier operations is awaited; this will further boost connectivity and ensure viability of operations. International carriers such as Emirates, Fly Dubai and Air Arabia have offered to provide services. Meanwhile, six domestic carriers, namely, Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, GoAir, SpiceJet and IndiGo are already operating from the airport,” says Thulasidas.
Besides his role in the aviation sector, Thulasidas has also served as joint secretary in the Ministry of Defence, during which time he was also member of the board of directors of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. At present, besides being the MD of KIAL, he is also serving as executive vice chairman of the Rajiv Gandhi Academy for Aviation Technology at Thiruvananthapuram.
On the academic front, Thulasidas has a master’s in English language and literature from the University Institute of English, Thiruvananthapuram.