IndiGo appoints KLM’s Pieter Elbers as CEO

Pieter Elbers, new CEO of IndiGo

Pieter Elbers, new CEO of IndiGo | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

IndiGo on Wednesday announced the appointment of a new CEO in Pieter Elbers, who helms Dutch airline KLM. He will replace Ronojoy Dutta, 71, who retires on September 30, 2022.

Mr. Elbers, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines since 2014. He will join IndiGo on or before October 1. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Air France – KLM Group. The Board of Directors of IndiGo’s parent company, InterGlobe Aviation Limited, approved his appointment subject to regulatory clearances.

Mr Dutta was appointed as IndiGo’s CEO in January 2019, before which he served as an advisor for the restructuring of Air Canada, US Airways and Hawaiian Air and was also the President of United Airlines between 1999 and 2002.

“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,” Managing Director of IndiGo, Rahul Bhatia, said.

Mr Dutta joined the airline at the time it was reeling from engine snags on its A320 planes powered by Pratt and Whitney engines. Among his priorities was also to improve the soft-skills of the airline’s frontline staff after its ground personnel assaulted a passenger at Delhi airport in 2017, leading to widespread outrage as well as criticism from a Parliamentary panel.

His global experience was also sought as the airline aimed to expand its international network, particularly long-haul ones such as London . Though the airline placed an order of 300 A320 narrow-body planes in late 2019, including long-range ones, the pandemic delayed plans for international expansion and presented new challenges that saw Mr Dutta take some tough decisions such as laying off 10% of the staff, and a foray into freighters with an agreement for four cargo planes as curtailment of passenger flights saw airlines deploy planes for carrying essential cargo such as PPE kits and ventilators.

“A new Indigo has to emerge post Covid-19, and these management changes are aligned to a new Indigo in the making,” said CAPA’s Kapil Kaul.

Mr 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.

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.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 9:52:02 pm |