Former Turkish Airlines chairman named as new CEO of Air India

Vytautas Kielaitis/

Tata Sons is moving forward with plans to revamp Air India, starting with naming a new chief executive for the flag carrier.  

On February 14, 2022, the airline’s board approved the appointment of Ilker Ayci, until recently chairman of Turkish Airlines, as the chief executive and managing director of Air India.  

“Ilker is an aviation industry leader who led Turkish Airlines to its current success during his tenure there,” said Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons. “We are delighted to welcome Ilker to the Tata group where he would lead Air India into the new era.” 

Tata Sons, part of the Tata conglomerate, officially took over the management and control of Air India on January 27, 2022 after winning the privatization bid for the loss-making carrier in 2021. The transaction comprised Air India, low-cost unit Air India Express, and ground and cargo handling company AI SATS.  

Ayci will take up the role of CEO and managing director on or before April 1, 2022.  

“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 commented in a press statement.  


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