Aviation industry veteran Peiter Elbers assumed the charge of Indigo‘s chief executive officer on September 6, over three months after he was announced as the replacement for outgoing CEO Ronojoy Dutta.
“Petrus Johannes Theodorus Elbers has joined as chief executive officer of the company with effect from today, September 6, 2022,” the private Indian carrier said in an exchange filing.
Elbers, who spent three decades at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, replaces Ronojoy Dutta at the top post. Elbers’ choice as CEO for IndiGo was strategic as a result of his experience in growing worldwide hubs at residence airports.
“Earlier, IndiGo communication summarised it all in just three words: ‘Towards new heights’ and-let me add here: ‘across new frontiers. With that vision in mind, you should feel assured that the coming years will be among the most exciting of your professional lives,” Elbers said.
Elbers, the former chief executive of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, was named as the next CEO by IndiGo on May 18, 2022. He has been at the helm of KLM since 2014. The 52-year-old is also a member of the executive committee of the Air France – KLM Group.
“What IndiGo’s employees and leadership have jointly built, since its start 16 years ago, is, by any standard, truly impressive. I am very honoured and do look forward to building upon this, working together with the entire IndiGo team. I am delighted to become a part of the next stage of IndiGo’s incredible journey, further fulfilling the vision of what the airline can do and will be for its customers and India.”Peiter Elbers, CEO, IndiGo
Elbers had started his career in 1992 with KLM and, over the past three decades, held several managerial positions in the company in both the Netherlands and overseas in Japan, Greece and Italy.
With Elbers assuming the charge, the three-year stint of Dutta as IndiGo’s CEO has formally concluded. The 71-year-old led the carrier through the turbulent period of COVID-19. In the post-pandemic period, the airline continues to maintain its dominating position in the Indian market.
Ronojoy Dutta, the outgoing CEO of IndiGo, has agreed to an enhanced non-compete for two years as against one year earlier, the company had said on 30 August, against accelerated bonus and amount instead of stock options.
The non-compete clause says Dutta shall not engage with any business or allied business that is in any way similar, identical or competitive and will not engage in the Indian aviation sector or provide consultancy services to an entity engaged in Indian aviation.
Dutta was relieved of his duties on 5 September, and not on 30 September as informed by the airline earlier, a company official said. In fact, Dutta agreed to a shorter notice period as per the request of the management.
Elbers got here to India on 4 August and was a part of IndiGo’s 16th-anniversary celebration. Since then, he has been working with Dutta as a part of the hand-holding course.
At present, IndiGo commands over half of the domestic market share. With 276 aircraft and over 1,500 daily flights, it is also among the largest airlines in the world. As of March, IndiGo had over 26,000 employees.
The airline currently serves 74 domestic and 26 international destinations. It is flying approximately 1,600 flights a day at present, of which 150 are international. It operates international flights from 16 airports across India.
In July 2022, the airline carried 57.11 lakh passengers, amounting to a 58.8% share of the domestic market, as per the monthly numbers released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
ALSO READ – IndiGo reports net loss of INR 1,064 crore in Q1
The airline also narrowed its consolidated net loss to INR 1,064 crore for the quarter ended June 2022 from INR 3,174.2 crore in the year-ago period.
The airline is also facing supply chain constraints, which have resulted in delays in the delivery of aircraft and engines. Yet, the airline plans to deploy 13% higher capacity than pre-Covid time in the 2022-23 financial year.
The airline has considered opting for wide-body aircraft for long-haul international flight operations multiple times in the past. While the wide-body discussions have not been fructified in the past, the airline has created a strong network of medium to short-distance global routes using its narrow-body aircraft.
The airline, which plans to induct Airbus’ lengthy vary slender physique plane A321 XLR ranging from mid-2024, has plans to function in several European cities like Barcelona, Rome, Moscow, and Milan from its hub airport at Delhi.