Tata Sons boss N. Chandrasekaran has been appointed chairman of Air India

N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, has been appointed chairman of Air India by the airline’s board of directors, airline industry sources said on Monday.

Salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group won the bid to acquire debt-ridden state Air India on October 8 last year by offering 18,000 crore.

Tata Sons has yet to appoint the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) for Air India.

The sources said the appointment of Mr Chandrasekaran as the airline’s chairman was approved by the board last week.

The conglomerate had announced on February 14 that former Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci would become CEO and managing director of Air India.

On March 1, Mr Ayci turned down the Tata Sons’ offer on the grounds that “some sections of the Indian media” had tried to “color” his appointment in an undesirable way.

Mr Ayci is believed to be close to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an ally of Pakistan, which sparked controversy when his appointment was announced.

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