The country's largest domestic budget carrier IndiGo on Wednesday announced the appointment of Pieter Elbers as its chief executive officer, replacing incumbent Ronojoy Dutta.
Seventy-one year old Dutta, who came to helm the airline in January 2019, has decided to retire on September 30, after guiding the airline through the turbulent Covid period, IndiGo said in a statement.
Elbers' appointment, which is subject to regulatory approvals, will be effective from on or before October 1, it said.
Since 2014, Elbers (52) has served as the president and chief executive officer of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
He is also a member of the executive committee of the Air France – KLM Group, the airline said.
"We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Pieter Elbers as the chief executive officer of the company. India promises to be the last bastion of enormous growth globally and given Elbers' deep understanding of the business, his legendary leadership qualities coupled with his energy and passion, we are ever so confident that under his stewardship, IndiGo will play a pivotal role in this growth opportunity,” said Rahul Bhatia, managing director and co-promoter of IndiGo.
"The Board of Directors and I would like to thank Rono for effectively leading our business for almost four years with a steady hand through what has been the most turbulent period in the airline's history and aviation globally," he said on Dutta's exit from the airline.
Announcing his retirement, Dutta said, "I leave knowing that IndiGo is in the good custody of Elbers and that the future for IndiGo employees is secure and bright."
Elbers started his career at KLM in 1992 at their Schiphol hub and over time, held several managerial positions in both the Netherlands and overseas in Japan, Greece and Italy, according to the statement.
After he returned to the Netherlands, he was appointed as the senior vice president of network and alliances, before he was promoted in 2011 as the chief operating officer, it said.
“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 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 for India," Elbers said.