IndiGo announced the appointment of Pieter Elbers, the CEO of Dutch airline KLM, as its new CEO on Wednesday. He will take over for Ronojoy Dutta, who will step down on September 30, 2022.
Since 2014, Mr. Elbers has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. On or before October 1, he will join IndiGo. He is also a member of the Air France – KLM Group's Executive Committee. His employment was authorised by the Board of Directors of IndiGo's parent company, InterGlobe Aviation Limited, subject to regulatory approvals.
Mr. Dutta became IndiGo's CEO in January 2019, after previously serving as an advisor on the restructuring of Air Canada, US Airways, and Hawaiian Airlines, as well as the President of United Airlines from 1999 to 2002.
Mr Elbers began his career with KLM in 1992 at the Schiphol hub and has since held a number of management posts in the Netherlands as well as in Japan, Greece, and Italy.
He was appointed Senior Vice President of Network and Alliances after his return to the Netherlands, before being promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2011.
The reason for Dutta's early retirement was not stated in IndiGo's announcement. The selection of a new CEO comes after multiple top-level management changes in recent months.
The news of Dutta's early departure comes only days after IndiGo was engaged in a dispute for allegedly refusing to board a specially-abled customer.
Elbers' hiring comes as IndiGo prepares to extend its international footprint. The airline has placed an order for Airbus A321XLR planes, which will begin arriving in the next 1-2 years. The airline would be able to run nonstop flights between India and Europe thanks to the aircraft model.