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From Turkey to Tata Group: Who Is Ilker Ayci, the New CEO and MD of Air India?

He will assume his responsibilities on or before 1 April 2022.

Updated
India
2 min read
From Turkey to Tata Group: Who Is Ilker Ayci, the New CEO and MD of Air India?
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Mehmet Ilker Ayci, on Monday, was appointed the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Air India by the Tata Sons. He will assume his responsibilities on or before 1 April 2022.

He was, until recently, the chairman of Turkish Airlines.

Tata Sons chairman 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."

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Personal Life

Ilker Ayci was born in Istanbul in 1971. He graduated from Bilkent University's Department of Political Science and Public Administration in 1994. He served as a researcher in the Department of Political Sciences at Leeds University in the UK and then completed an International Relations Master's programme at the Marmara University in Istanbul.

On 19 November 2018, Ayci married lawyer and sports commentator Tuğçe Saatman.

Aycı, Once the Advisor to Istanbul Mayor

Ayci began his career in 1994 and was assigned several positions in Kurtsan Ilaclar A.S., Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Universal Dis Ticaret A.S. He was also the advisor of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, then mayor of Istanbul. He served as a general manager in Basak Sigorta A.S. between 2005 and 2006.

He held several positions in the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and served as the CEO of several insurance companies from 2005 to 2011.

In January 2011, he was appointed the chairman of The Republic of Turkey Investment Support and Promotion Agency, which is the official organisation for promoting Turkey’s investment opportunities to the global business community and for providing assistance to investors before, during, and after their entry into Turkey.

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'Will Utilise the Strong Heritage of Air India to Make It One of the Best Airlines in the World'

Ilker Ayci was an executive board member of Turkish Airlines until April 2015, when he was appointed the chairman of the airline, replacing resigning Hamdi Topçu.

In 2013, he was appointed the vice president of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, and later, in January 2014, as its chairman.

"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 utilise 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 said.

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