Ilker Ayci, former Turkish Airlines chief, is Air India CEO
Tata Sons on Monday announced that it has appointed Ilker Ayci as the new chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD) of Air India. The board of the airline had held a meeting and approved the appointment earlier in the day. The appointment is "subject to requisite regulatory approvals," Tata Sons said in a press release.
- Ayci is set to become the first CEO of Air India after the airline's historic privatization.
- The Tata Group had recently taken over the airline from the central government.
- The handover marked the return of Air India to the Tatas after nearly seven decades.
- Tatas had set up the company as Tata Airlines in 1932 and the government took control of it in 1953.
"Ilker is an aviation industry leader who led Turkish Airlines to its current success during his tenure there. We are delighted to welcome Ilker to the Tata Group where he would lead Air India into the new era," said N Chandrasekaran, the chairperson of Tata Sons. He was a special invitee to the board meeting on Monday, as per the company release.
"I am delighted and honored to accept the privilege of leading an iconic airline," Ayci said. "Working closely with my colleagues at Air India and the leadership of the Tata Group, we will utilize the strong heritage of Air India to make it one of the best airlines in the world with a uniquely superior flying experience that reflects Indian warmth and hospitality."
Born in 1971 in Turkey's Istanbul, Ayci is an alumnus of Bilkent University's Department of Political Science and Public Administration. He completed an International Relations Master's program at Marmara University in Istanbul in 1997. He became the chairman of Turkish Airlines in April 2015 and resigned from the position in January. He will assume the role at Air India on or before April 1.