Business & Economy

Tata names former Turkish Airlines chairman as Air India chief

New Delhi, Feb 14 (EFE).- Tata Sons, the principal investment holding company og the Tata Group, appointed Monday former Turkish Airlines Chairman Ilker Ayci as the new CEO and managing director of Air India on Monday.

The Tata Group regained control of the Air India airline company around the end of January after 69 years in the hands of the Indian government.

“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,” Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said in a statement.

Ayci, on his part, said he was “delighted and honored” to join the Tata Group and lead “an iconic airline,” and stressed he would use “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.”

Born in 1971 in Istanbul, Ayci assumed charge of Turkish Airlines in April 2015, and previously served as executive director at several insurance companies until he was appointed head of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of the Republic of Turkey in 2011.

In 2013, he was elected deputy head of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, of which he then went on to chair in 2014.

The appointment of Ayci, who will take office on Apr.1, comes after Tata Sons officially retook control of the indebted Air India airlines on Jan.28, nearly seven decades after it was nationalized by the Indian authorities in 1953.

The sale came into effect after a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chandrasekaran, in which Tata Sons transferred paid 2.7 billion rupees (about $359 million) to the government and took over the airline’s debt of 15.3 billion rupees of debt, according to the finance ministry.

The Tata Group now controls three airlines in the country, with Vistara and AirAsia India being the other two, where it holds majority shares. EFE


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