Former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Turkish Airlines Ilker Ayci has rejected Air India’s CEO offer, news agency Bloomberg reported.
“I have concluded that it would not be a feasible or an honourable decision to accept the position in the shadow of such a narrative,” Ayci said in a statement seen by Bloomberg. Bloomberg further reported that Ayci said his appointment to the position was ‘coloured’ by Indian media.
Earlier last week, RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch had said the government should not give clearance to the appointment of Ilker Ayci as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Air India “keeping in view national security”.
SJM’s co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan said the government is “already sensitive” to the issue and has taken up the matter “very seriously”.
When asked for the reasons why the SJM is opposed to the newly appointed CEO and MD, Mahajan reiterated to PTI that it’s a matter of national security. “After all, decisions are taken about a person based on his relationships.”
On February 14, Tata Sons announced the appointment of Ayci, former chairman of Turkish Airlines, as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Air India. Announcing his appointment, it said in a statement that Ayci will assume his new responsibilities on or before April 1.
Ayci was an advisor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan when the latter was mayor of Istanbul, from 1994 to 1998. He also served Turkish Airlines as its chairman from 2015 to 2022 and was credited with turning the airline around.