Air Marshal Fali Homi Major is New IAF Chief

The Government today appointed Air Marshal Fali Homi Major, PVSM, AVSM, SC, VM, ADC, presently Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command, as the next Chief of the Air Staff with effect from the afternoon of March 31, 2007. The present Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, PVSM, AVSM, VM & Bar, ADC retires from service on March 31, 2007.

Born on May 29, 1947, Air Marshal Major was commissioned into the Air Force on December 31, 1967 as a helicopter pilot. During his long and distinguished service spanning little over 39 years, he has worked in a variety of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. He has the distinction of having 7765 hours of flying experience to his credit. The Air officer commanded a helicopter unit, which took part in world’s highest battlefield operations in Siachen Glacier and commanded MI – 17 squadron during IPKF operations in Sri Lanka, for which he was decorated with Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) during this tenure.

Air Marshal Major was bestowed Shaurya Chakra award for undertaking a very dangerous and exacting rescue mission on October 14, 1992 at Timber Trail in Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh, where he along with his crew, winched the eleven standard tourists out from the cable car, by hovering precariously close to the set of cables that ran above the cable car.

Besides being a Fellow of the National Defence College, New Delhi, and the Army War College, Mhow, he attended a variety of courses like Junior Commanders’ Course, Jungle and Snow Survival Course and Higher Command Course. He had the distinction of overseeing the tri-Service operations including the Tsunami operations during his tenure as Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations) at IDS Head Quarters. He was promoted as AOC-in-C, Eastern Air Command in September 2005. The Indo-US Joint Air Exercises at Kalaikunda in 2005 were successfully conducted under his leadership in Eastern Air Command.

He was awarded Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM) in January 2006 and Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM) in January 2002. He is one of the Honorary ADCs of the Supreme Commander.

Air Marshal Major is married to Mrs. Zareena and has one son and one daughter.

Official Press Release here

  • G M Vertannes

    Air Chief Marshal
    Fali Homi Major

    Dear Sir,
    I was wondering if you could help with some information concerning the former Air Marshal and the Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Air Command in 1983.
    It is important that I correspond with you concerning the biography of Air Marshal Terrance J Desa, Commander-in-Chief (Southern Air command). I have just begun writing about his life and the history of the Indian Air Force. I am by profession a Civil Engineer working and living in Perth Western Australia. I am also his son-in-law. I have contacted many of his old friends from the IAF, some of them you probably know them personally. His friend is now retired Air chief Marshals. While I was with him in Bombay I met Air Marshal Denis La Fountain. He and his officers were visiting the IAF club in Bombay and he did talk about some of the heroes of the IAF. What I remember of him is that he is very friendly and a helpful man. I had the good opportunity to ask him about the IAF but I was too young then and wasn’t really interested. Now I am really regretting it sine my father-in-law have passed away.
    In fact I have contacted Wing Commander TK Singha from the Public Relations Officer (PRO) Indian Air Force, Directorate of Public Relations. He gave me a few names and I thought of you. I know for a fact that my father-in-law was the CO with number 2 squadron and later was appointed as Director of Training and Operations at the Air Headquarters New Deli.

    I wanted to ask you a favour and that is, if you can tell me a little about his task as the man in charge of the Academy. If you have worked with him please tell me what was he like as a Commanding Officer during the Pakistan War in 1971. I hear from many IAF pilots he was very tough but very efficient. I only knew him as my father-in-law but not as an IAF officer.

    I will send you an attached file of his photo and myself, you might recognise him, but I need your email address for that. My email is or my Skype name is guyvertannes.

    Here is a list of the officers he knew and worked with and some I have met:
    • AM SKC Gupta
    • AVM BA Coelho
    • Wing Commander VV Nair
    • AVM P Venugopal
    • Flt Lt George K. Naliyan
    • Sqr Leader RTS Chinna
    • AVM Randhir Singh
    • ACM IH Latif
    I will be visiting India again this year with my wife and may be touching into the IAF office in New Deli. Hope to hear from you soon.


    G Michael Vertannes

    Sunday, 6 March 2011

  • Jimmy Keki Major

    Type your comment here…
    Dear Fali H. Major,
    Sir, I wanted to contact you to find out if we were by any chance related. My late father was Keki Ardeshir Major from Colaba, Bombay. My son Zubin Jimmy Major is now a Helicopter pilot in the US Navy and holds the rank of Lieutenant. Since you were also a Helicopter pilot, you could possibly give my son zubin some advice from your vast experience. I am very keen to know if you could contact me through my email address. ( I would really appreciate it. At present I live in south Florida with my wife Farida and my other son Rumi. Zubin is at present based in Norfolk, Virginia. My ver best wishes to you and your family.
    Hoping to hear from you soon (maybe).
    Jimmy K. Major