After many rounds of speculations, Air India has finally announced its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director. Tata Group has appointed Ilker Ayci, former Chairman of Turkish Airlines, as CEO of Air India. His appointment is effective from April 01, 2022.
Announcing the new appointment, Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran said, “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.”
Ayci expressed his happiness in his association with the Tata Group. “I am delighted and honoured to accept the privilege of leading an iconic airline and to join the Tata Group. 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,” Ilker Ayci said.
Ayci started his professional career in 1994 and worked at several organizations, including Kurtsan Ilaclar AS, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Universal Dis Ticaret AS. He also worked in Basak Sigorta AS from 2005-2006 and then in Gunes Sigorta AS between 2006 and 2011. In January 2011, Ayci became the Chairman of The Republic of Turkey Investment Support and Promotion Agency, a venture targeting to promote investment opportunities in Turkey and assist investors. He became the Vice President of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies in 2013 and was promoted as its Chairman in January 2014.
He is a graduate from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Bilkent University. He was also a researcher in the Department of Political Sciences at Leeds University in the UK.
Tata Group took over Air India last month from the Government of India and is now on a hiring spree to fill the C-suite executives of the airline. The Group is also likely to form a new board headed by Tata Group chairman N Chandrasekaran. The company has four airlines under its wings -- Air India, Air India Express, Vistara and AirAsia India. It has not laid out any plan for the future of its airline wing except a 100-day plan aimed at improving Air India’s on-time performance and customer service.