Tata Sons on Monday appointed Ilker Ayci, the former chairperson of Turkish Airlines, Air India’s chief executive officer and managing director, according to a press release.
The board of Air India on met on Monday afternoon to approve Ayci’s appointment, which is subject to regulatory approvals. Ayci will take charge on or before April 1, said the press release.
On January 27, Tata Sons took over the debt-ridden national carrier, marking the completion of the “strategic disinvestment” of the airline.
Chairperson of Tata Sons N Chandrasekaran said Ayci was an aviation industry leader who had led Turkish Airlines to its current success during his tenure there. Chandrasekaran welcomed Ayci on board saying he would lead Air India “into the new era”.
Ayci said that he would work with Air India and the Tata Group leadership to use the airline’s “strong heritage” and make it one of the best in the world. He said that Air India’s “superior” flying experience would reflect “Indian warmth and hospitality.”
According to press release by Tata Sons, Ayci was born in Istanbul in 1971. He graduated from the Ankara-based Bilkent University’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration in 1994. After a research stint at the Leeds University in United Kingdom, Ayci obtained a Master’s in International Relations at Istanbul’s Marmara University in 1997.
With the takeover, Tata Sons had regained control of Air India nearly 70 years after its nationalisation. After taking over the airline, Tata Group had been putting together a team of professionals to help revive the ailing carrier.
Air India was founded in 1932 as Tata Airlines by family scion and aviation enthusiast Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata.