After acquiring Air India from the government last month, the Tata Group has now announced its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD), Ilker Ayci. In a press release, Tata Sons mentioned that after several discussions, the nomination was approved by the board.
#FlyAI : Mr. Ilker Ayci appointed as the CEO & MD of Air India. pic.twitter.com/KhVl0tfUlv— Air India (@airindiain) February 14, 2022
The former Turkish Airlines Chairman has been appointed for the position and he will assume his responsibilities on or before 1 April 2022.
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.
N Chandrasekaran, Tata Sons chairman, who was present at the board meeting when the decision was taken, 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”.
Born in Istanbul in 1971, Ilker Ayci is a 1994 batch Political Science and Public Administration graduate from Bilkent University. The following year, he also served as a researcher in the Department of Political Sciences at Leeds University and then completed his Master’s in International Relations from Istanbul’s Marmara University in 1997.
Ilker Ayci was also appointed as the advisor of the Mayor of Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in 1994. This marked the beginning of Ayci’s career and thereafter, he was assigned several positions in Kurtsan İlaçları A.S., Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Universal Dis Ticaret A.S.
Back in 2011, Ilker Ayci was appointed as the Chairman of The Republic of Turkey Investment Support and Promotion Agency, the official organisation in charge of promoting investment opportunities to the international business community.
Within two years, he was elected as the vice president of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies and then its chairman in January 2014.
At the same time, Ayci was also serving as an executive board member of Turkish Airlines till April 2015. Eventually, he became the chairman of the airline and held the position until very recently.
On January 26, 2022, Ilker Ayci stepped down from his post as chairman of Turkish Airlines, a day before the Tata Group was officially handed over Air India.