Tata Sons has appointed former Chairperson of Turkish Airlines Ilker Ayci as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Air India.
“The board after due deliberations approved the appointment of Ilker Ayci as the CEO & MD of Air India. This appointment is subject to requisite regulatory approvals,” the company stated in a release.
On Ayci’s appointment, Tata Sons 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.”
“The Air India Board met to consider the candidature of Ayci” the release added. “He will assume his responsibilities on or before April 1, 2022, Tata Sons said.
“I am delighted and honored 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,”Ayci said.
Air India is the third airline brand in the Tata Group’s stable — it holds a majority interest in AirAsia India and Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines Ltd. Tata Sons is the holding company of the salt-to-software conglomerate. At present, Air India controls over 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports as well as 900 slots abroad.
Tatas had set up Tata Airlines in 1932, which was later — in 1946 — renamed as Air India. The government had taken control of the airline in 1953, but JRD Tata continued to be its chairman till 1977. The handover marked the homecoming of Air India to Tatas after 69 years.