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Ronojoy Dutta quits no-frills carrier IndiGo as chief executive

InterGlobe Aviation-operated IndiGo on Wednesday said Ronojoy Dutta has stepped down as the airline’s chief executive officer effective September 30, 2022. He will be replaced by former CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Peter Elbers.

“The Board of Directors of InterGlobe Aviation Limited (IndiGo) has appointed Pieter Elbers as chief executive officer, subject to regulatory approvals. He will join IndiGo on/before 1 October 2022,” IndiGo said in a statement.

“What IndiGo’s employees and leadership have jointly built, since its start 16 years ago, is, by any standard, truly impressive,” Elbers said in the statement.

Hailing from The Netherlands, Elbers has a Master’s Degree in Business Economics and has been president and chief executive officer of the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in the past. After joining KLM Royal Dutch in 1992, he has held several managerial positions in Japan, Greece and Italy. He was also a member of the executive committee of the Air France-KLM Group.

The announcement from IndiGo, India’s largest domestic airline comes days after civil aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) found the airline at fault for not complying with regulations while denying boarding to a differently abled child earlier this month.

Interestingly, IndiGo has maintained that the airline was following DGCA guidelines, with CEO Dutta stating that his airline had made the best possible decision under difficult circumstances.

However, the airline has faced a lot of criticism for its actions from the general public and civil aviation minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia.

IndiGo, which was supposed to report its financial results for the quarter and fiscal year-ended 31 March on 18 May, has also postponed it to 25 May.  

Elbers‘ appointment comes when both domestic and international air travel is heading towards normalcy following nearly two years of a pandemic that saw a steep fall in travel demand.

Elbers is expected to lead IndiGo’s plans to foray into foreign markets, which have been delayed due to the pandemic.

“India promises to be the last bastion of growth globally and given Mr. Elbers’ deep understanding of the business, we are ever so confident that under his stewardship, IndiGo will play a pivotal role in this growth opportunity,” said IndiGo’s managing director Rahul Bhatia.

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