Tata Group appoints former Turkish Airlines Chairman Ilker Ayci as new CEO and Managing Director

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Tata Sons appointed on Monday Ilker Aycithe former chairman of Turkish Airlines, managing director and managing director of Air India, according to a press release.

Air India’s board of directors met on Monday afternoon to approve Ayci’s appointment, which is subject to regulatory approvals. Ayci will take charge on or before April 1, the press release says.

On January 27, Tata Sons took over the debt-ridden national carrier, marking the completion of the airline’s “strategic divestment”.

Chairman of Tata Sons N Chandrasekaran said Ayci was an aviation industry leader who 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 he would work with Air India and Tata Group management to use the airline’s “strong heritage” and make it one of the best in the world. He said Air India’s “superior” flight experience would reflect “Indian warmth and hospitality”.

According to the Tata Sons press release, Ayci was born in Istanbul in 1971. He graduated from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of Bilkent University, Ankara in 1994. After a research stay at the University from Leeds in the UK, Ayci graduated with a Masters in International Relations from Istanbul Marmara University in 1997.

With the takeover, Tata Sons had regained control of Air India almost 70 years after its nationalization. After taking over the airline, Tata Group had assembled a team of professionals to help revive the struggling carrier.

Air India was founded in 1932 as Tata Airlines by family descendant and aviation enthusiast Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata.

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