Air India Got new MD: Former Turkish Airlines CEO Ilker Ayci becomes MD and CEO

The Tata Group has selected Ilker Ayci, the former Chairman of Turkish Airlines, as Managing Director and CEO of Air India, beginning on or before April 1. This development is consistent with the Tata Group’s intention to appoint an expatriate chief executive officer to lead the airline it acquired from the Indian government last month. Ilker Ayci served as chairman of Turkish Airlines since 2015, and the carrier announced his departure on January 27 — the same day the Centre handed over Air India to Tatas.

Ayci served as an advisor to former Istanbul Mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul, where he was involved in a number of development projects in Turkey’s largest metropolis. Erdogan is Turkey’s President at the moment.

Air India released a statement

Ilker Ayci
Ilker Ayci | Photo Credit: Indian Express 

“The Air India board of directors met this afternoon to evaluate Mr. Ilker Ayci’s candidacy. Mr. N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, attended this board meeting as a special invitee. After appropriate deliberation, the board approved Mr. Ilker Ayci’s appointment as CEO and MD of Air India. This appointment is conditional to receipt of all necessary regulatory permissions,” the Tata Group stated in a statement.

Ayci was born in 1971 in Istanbul. According to the Tata Group, he graduated from Bilkent University’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration in 1994. After completing a research stay in political science at Leeds University in the United Kingdom in 1995, he earned a Master’s degree in international relations from Marmara University in Istanbul in 1997.

“Ilker is a pioneer in the aviation business, having guided Turkish Airlines to its current level of success throughout his tenure. We are happy to welcome Ilker to the Tata Group and look forward to him leading Air India into a new age,” Chandrasekaran added.

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