Former Turkish Airline chairman Ilker Ayci appointed as the CEO & MD of Air India

Ayci, resigned from Turkish Airlines on January 26, 2022. He was appointed to the job in 2015.

Ilker Ayci, new CEO and MD of Air India

Ilker Ayci, new CEO and MD of Air India

Ilker Ayci has been named as the CEO and MD of Air India, according to Tata Sons. Ilker Ayci will take over his responsibilities on or before April 1, 2022. Ilker Ayci was the Chairman of Turkish Airlines until recently, and prior to that, he served on the company's board of directors.

This afternoon, the Air India board of directors convened to discuss Ilker Ayci's candidacy. N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, was present at this board meeting. The board of directors approved the appointment of Ilker Ayci as CEO and MD of Air India after much deliberation. Regulatory permission is required for this position.

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: Will Tata-owned Air India make a comeback with a strong cargo footprint?

Ilker Ayci was born in Istanbul in 1971. He is 1994 alumni of Bilkent University's Department of Political Science and Public Administration. After a research stay on political science at the Leeds University in the UK in 1995, he completed an International Relations Master's program at the Marmara University in Istanbul in 1997.

Ilker Ayci was chairman of Turkish Airlines since 2015, and his resignation from the post was announced by the airline on January 26 this year — the same day when Tatas were handed over Air India by the Centre.

When the pandemic hit the freight industry in 2020, Turkish Airlines' cargo revenue increased by 61.3 per cent to USD 2.7 billion under Ayci's leadership. The percentage of cargo income in total revenue reached a new high of 40 per cent. With this total performance in 2020, Turkish Airlines stood out from its competition by sustaining relatively little damage during the extremely difficult pandemic year.

To accommodate increased demand in the cargo market, several of the fleet's idle wide-body planes were employed for cargo transport. Turkish Airlines was one of the first airlines to use this approach. With the shipping of more than 50 thousand tonnes of medications and medical supplies in 2020, Turkish Cargo played a critical part in lessening the pandemic's impact. Revenues from cargo units increased by 66 per cent during the reporting year.

On this occasion, Ilker Ayci, said, "I am delighted and honoured 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 is also on the board of the Turkish Football Federation, Turkish Airlines Sports Club and TFF Sportif Anonim Sirketi and Member of The Canadian Turkish Business Council and a Member of the US-Turkey Business Council, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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