AAV In Conversation with Sanjiv Kapoor of Alton Aviation Consultancy on India and Asian aviation


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Sanjic Kapoor, senior advisor at Alton Aviation Consultancy. (PHOTO: Alton Aviation Consultancy)

Asian Aviation editor Matt Driskill is In Conversation with Sanjiv Kapoor, a senior advisor at Alton Aviation Consultancy. Kapoor, based in New Delhi, India, has over 20 years of experience in the airline industry, having worked with airlines in Asia, Europe, and the US as a part of management, as a management consultant, and as an investment advisor in the aviation space. Kapoor is as a thought leader in the industry and is a sought after speaker in various industry events and on university campuses, on the subject of performance turnarounds and transformational culture change.

From March 2016 thru December 2019, Kapoor was the Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer of Vistara (TATA Singapore Airlines ), a premium full service airline. At Vistara, Kapoor played a pivotal role in its growth from nine aircraft and 40 flights to 41 aircraft and over 200 flights a day in 2019, in the process winning several “Best Airline in India” awards and creating a clear niche for a premium full service “5 Star airline” (as per Apex) in one of the most price sensitive markets in the world.

Prior to Vistara, Kapoor led SpiceJet, India’s second-largest low cost airline, through its unprecedented turnaround as its COO and de facto CEO from November 2013 until October 2015, shepherding the airline through a period of record high oil prices and a cash crunch, to a complete cultural and operational transformation, ownership change, and profitability within 15 months, in the process fundamentally shaking up and changing the Indian airline industry and delivering a turnaround that has been covered extensively in the media.

Kapoor started his airline career with Northwest Airlines in the US in 1997, where he worked in finance, planning, and procurement. In 2004 Kapoor joined Bain and Company in Singapore, and subsequently in Dallas and London as a leader in their airline practice. At Bain, Kapoor led turnaround, transformation, and investment due diligence projects involving major airlines in Asia and Europe. Kapoor’s previous employers include Temasek Holdings, Singapore (owners of Singapore Airlines) and Oracle Corp. A native of Kolkata in India where he did his schooling at La Martiniere, Kapoor received his MBA in 1996 from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania and his BA in 1990 from Dartmouth College in Computer Science and Government.

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.


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