When we think of airlines in Europe, the name Turkish Airlines surely comes to mind. Along with their witty, sentimental, and exciting commercials starring many famous figures including Lionel Messi and Kobe Bryant, Turkish Airlines has become a household name in aviation in Europe. One man responsible for this remembrance is Ilker Aycı, who has been the CEO of Turkish Airlines from 2015 until recently on 26th of January when he resigned from his occupation.
Education and Early Career of Ilker Aycı
Born in 1971, Aycı has a rather intriguing background prior to his role of chairman in Turkish Airlines. He studied Political Sciences and Public Administration in Bilkent University, then he would continue studying this subject in Leeds University as a researcher. He later had his master’s degree in international Affairs in Marmara University. Both during and after his education period, he worked in positions that one would not quite correlate with aviation. Aycı’s first experience was in the field of pharmaceuticals, in which he went through different duties at Kurtsan Pharmaceuticals. Since 2018, Aycı has been married to Tuğçe Saatman Aycı who is a sports speaker. One notable occupation of Aycı is that he has consulted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, when he was the mayor of Istanbul. Aycı occupied various positions during his time as Erdoğan’s advisor in the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Aycı had his path through various other jobs including insurance and promotion, when in February 2015 he took upon the duty of CEO of Turkish Airlines.
Ilker Aycı’s Time in Turkish Airlines
During his time as the chairman of Turkish Airlines, the company saw great growth. Even through the pandemic, the airline giant managed to keep its growth. Along with commercial flights, the company offered shipping through Turkish Cargo, which was of great assist during the COVID-19 outbreak. Turkish Cargo saw its market share at around five percent in the global market. With these two departments seeing great success even in harsh conditions, the company ended the third quarter of 2021 with a net profit of $735 million. Turkish Cargo also achieved immense growth when compared to the previous years.
Owing to the great achievements of the company, Ilker Aycı was given the Five Star Global Airline Award by the Airline Passenger Experience Association. Aycı’s time in Turkish Airlines as the chairman was withstanding. However, as all good things come to an end, he resigned from his duties in Turkish Airlines in January 2022.
Ilker Aycı’s Career After Turkish Airlines
Not long after his departing from Turkish Airlines, the news had spread that Ilker Aycı would be the CEO of Air India, owned by the TATA Group, an Indian Conglomerate. This news would soon be of the past as criticism by Indian Nationalist groups followed by an investigation on Aycı’s political past spiked up controversy. It was alleged that Aycı had facilitated controversial investments. After this controversy, Aycı announced that he has turned down the offer of chairman in Air India in March 1st. Since then, there have been no updates on Aycı’s occupation.
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