Yesterday, the Tata Group announced they would be hiring former Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci as the new CEO and MD of Air India. This news comes a month after the Tata group formally acquired Air India from the Indian government.

Who is Ilker Ayci?

Ilker Ayci has been the head of Turkish Airlines since 2015, resigning from the role on 26 January 2022, a day before Air India was handed over to the Tatas. Acyi was born in Istanbul in 1971 and later attended the University of Bilkent in Ankara, where he studied in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. Since then, Ayci has held multiple positions in the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and was an advisor to then-mayor, now president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Acyi has also served as CEO of several insurance companies and was the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies chairman from 2014 to 2015.

Air India aeroplane in flight
After almost 70 years, the Tatas have bought back from the government the airline they founded | © businesstraveller.com

Regarding his latest appointment as CEO, he 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.”

What does the future hold for the flag carrier?

As well as appointing Mr Ayci as new CEO, the Tata Group have been making other changes to ensure a brighter future for Air India. Last month, a 40-member committee was formed to improve the airline’s customer service, passenger experience and aircraft conditions. One can hope to see significant changes in the airline on the horizon with all the changes taking place. The Chairman of Tata Sons, N Chandrasekaran, said he believes Ilker Ayci will lead Air India “into a new era”.

 

What are your thoughts on the new CEO of Air India? What changes are you hoping to see in the airline? Let us know in the comments below!

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