Former advisor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan named new CEO of Air India after Tata’s takeover


Tata Sons on Monday named Ilker Ayci, a former advisor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as the new CEO of Air India. The company said that its board had approved the appointment of Ayci as the CEO & Managing Director of Air India after due deliberations. Ayci will take charge on or before 1 April even though his appointment is subject to requisite regulatory approvals.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Ayci was the chairman of Turkish Airlines before being considered for the top job in the new Air India.

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.”

Also Read: Ratan Tata releases welcome message for Air India passengers after Tata takes control of national carrier

Born in Istanbul, 51-year-old Ayci is a 1994 alumni of Bilkent University’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration. After a research stay in political science at the Leeds University in the UK in 1995, he completed a Master’s program in International Relations at the Marmara University in Istanbul in 1997.

Reacting to his appointment, the new Air India CEO 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.”

Tata recently took full control of Air India, which was a government-owned entity until recently.

About the Tata group

Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising 30 companies across ten verticals. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission ‘To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust’.

Tata Sons is the principal investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies. Sixty-six percent of the equity share capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts, which support education, health, livelihood generation, and art and culture.

In 2020-21, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $103 billion (INR 7.7 trillion). These companies collectively employ over 800,000 people. Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors. There are 29 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of $314 billion (INR 23.4 trillion) as of December 31, 2021. Companies include Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Tata Consumer Products, Titan, Tata Capital, Tata Power, Tata Communications, Indian Hotels, Tata Digital and Tata Electronics.

About Air India

Founded by the legendary JRD Tata, Air India has pioneered India’s aviation sector and the airline’s history is, in fact, synonymous with the annals of civil aviation in India.

Since its first flight on October 15, 1932, Air India has spread its wings to become a major international airline with a network across USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Far-East, South-East Asia, Australia and the Gulf. The airline also has an extensive domestic network, including far-flung areas of India’s North-East, Ladakh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Air India has been a member of Star Alliance, the largest global airline consortium, since July 2014.

India’s first international budget carrier, Air India Express was launched in 2005 to meet the need for affordable services on short and medium-haul routes- connecting smaller towns directly to the Gulf and southeast Asia regions.

Air India, along with Air India Express, has always been playing a pivotal role in standing by the Nation in its hour of crisis. In an epic mission, Air India has been evacuating stranded people from all over the world from and to India in the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak through the Government’s Vande Bharat Mission and Air Transport Bubble flights.

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