Air India board had met on Monday afternoon to consider candidature of Ilker Ayci

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New Delhi, NFAPost: Former chairman of Turkish Airlines Ilker Ayci has been appointed as CEO & MD of Air India, announced Tata Sons on Monday.

The Air India board met on Monday afternoon to consider the candidature of Ayci, with Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran as a special invitee, and approved his appointment, subject to requisite regulatory approvals, Tata Sons said in a statement.

Ilker Ayci will assume his responsibilities on or before April 1, 2022, said Tata Sons in a statement.

“We will utilise strong heritage of AI to make it one of the best airlines in the world with a uniquely superior flying experience that reflects Indian warmth,” said Ayci who resigned from the Turkish Airlines’ board only on January 26, 2022.

For Tatas, Air India will be the third airline. It already operates Vistara in joint venture with Singapore Airlines and AirAsia India in partnership with AirAsia Group.
Tatas took over Rs 15,300-crore of debt in Air India and Air India Express Ltd while the remaining Rs 46,262 crore loan plus an outstanding of about Rs 15,000 crore towards unpaid fuel bills were paid off by the government.

Air India will give Tatas immediate access to valuable flying rights and landing slots and it will also gain control of low-cost, short-haul international carrier Air India Express as well as a 50 per cent stake in a ground handling company with SATS Ltd.

Air India’s regional arm, Alliance Air, is not part of the deal. In October last year, Tatas won the bid for Air India through competitive bidding for Rs 18,000 crore, including the cash component of Rs 2,700 crore.

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