Ilker Ayci Denies Tata Sons’ Offer to Become the New CEO of Air India

"I make this choice with a heavy heart, and I wish Air India and the Tata Group, a worldwide enterprise that I genuinely appreciate, every success,” Ilker Ayci.

Highlights

  • Ilker Ayci, the former Chairman of Turkish Airlines' Board of Directors, has turned down Air India's CEO offer.
  • "I have come to the conclusion that accepting the post in the shadow of such a story would not be a practical or honourable option," Ayci stated in the announcement. He was viewed as close to Pakistan's ally, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  • "My appointment at Air India within Tata Group was announced earlier in February, with a start date of April 1st. Since the announcement, I have been carefully following news in some sections of the Indian media attempting to colour my appointment with undesirable colours".

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Ilker AyciIlker Ayci, the former Chairman of Turkish Airlines' Board of Directors, has turned down Air India's CEO offer. In a statement, Ayic said that the Indian media had 'coloured' his appointment, claiming this as the cause for his decision to withdraw.

"I have come to the conclusion that accepting the post in the shadow of such a story would not be a practical or honourable option," Ayci stated in the announcement. He was viewed as close to Pakistan's ally, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan mentioned Kashmir in his address to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly late last year.

India had described it as "absolutely unacceptable" at the time. In 1994, Ayci was Erdogan's personal advisor, and from 2015 till present, he has been the chairman of Turkish Airlines.

"My appointment at Air India within Tata Group was announced earlier in February, with a start date of April 1st. Since the announcement, I have been carefully following news in some sections of the Indian media attempting to colour my appointment with undesirable colours".

In a recent meeting with Chadrasekaran, Chairman of the Tata Group, Ayci claimed he 'regretfully' informed him that he would be refusing the position.

In 2015, Ayci became the chairman of Turkish Airlines. Under his leadership, the airline has grown into a mega carrier with a fleet of 373 aircraft that connects 328 locations in 128 countries. With a fleet of 261 aircraft, it operated to 261 locations in 108 countries in 2014. During his tenure, the airline made a big relocation to the new Istanbul airport, ordered a lot of wide-body planes, and expanded its cargo operations.

(Inputs from ET Now)

Datchanapriya is a journalism and mass communication student from Chennai. Has always been passionate about writing and connecting with people.

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