Ilker Ayci reportedly declines to take up role of CEO at Air India

Markus Mainka /

Ilker Ayci has declined to take up the role of chief executive at Indian flagship airline Air India, according to media reports.  

Ayci, the former chairman of Turkish Airlines, was named as new CEO in a press release issued by Tata Sons, the new owners of Air India, on February 14, 2022.  

However, various media outlets, including Bloomberg and Reuters, said on March 1, 2022, that Ayci had decided to turn down the position. Local media reports in India had suggested it may be difficult for the Turkish national to get security clearance for the role. 

Bloomberg cited a statement from Ayci:  “I have come to the conclusion that it would not be a feasible or an honourable decision to accept the position in the shadow of such a narrative.”  

The press release from February 14, 2022 announcing the board’s decision to appoint Ayci is also no longer available on the Tata website. 

Tata Sons chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran had stated in the press release that Ayci would lead Air India “into a 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. 

AeroTime has reached out to Tata Sons for comment.  

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