Nevill Vintcent

Nevill Vintcent: The man who inspired JRD Tata to start Air India (and became its co-founder) – Scroll

(The column first appeared in Scroll on October 13, 2021)


  • Have you heard of Nevill Vintcent and his inspiring story? But before we start with the tale, a brief preface. The best introduction to him is contained in the words of JRD Tata, who called him ‘undoubtedly the founder of Indian air transport’. If you prefer a more graphic introduction, here are J.R.D.’s words: ‘Nevill Vintcent, that gallant and immensely able man, who conceived the [Tata Airlines] project and managed it with zest and efficiency, until he was shot down over the Atlantic ten years later, on a dangerous flight back to India. He was a tall, huge British man of South African origin with blond hair and blue eyes and a burning passion for flying. Apropos of his size, he was also a champion boxer. Born in 1902, he served briefly during World War I and was then commissioned by the Royal Air Force at the age of twenty, where he was honoured for his exceptional courage…

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