As CEO of IndiGo since September 2022, Pieter Elbers (53) leads more than 35,000 aviation enthusiasts who are running India’s leading passenger airline and building one of the leading airlines in the world. Pieter firmly believes in aviation as a driver for economic growth, social progress and cohesion. He is a seasoned airline business leader with over 30 years of aviation experience. Pieter reports regularly on LinkedIn about his journey.
IndiGo is one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world. It has a simple philosophy: offer fares that are affordable, flights that are on time, and provide a courteous and hassle-free travel experience across its unparalleled network. With its fleet of over 325 aircraft, the airline is operating about 1900 daily flights and connecting over 110+ destinations (of which 32 international), welcoming 85+ million customers on board last year.
Pieter is building the next stage of the incredible IndiGo journey, further fulfilling IndiGo’s purpose of Giving wings to the nation, by connecting people and aspirations. Here, he is executing the strategy of bringing IndiGo ‘Towards new heights and Across new frontiers’. In line with the growth and development of India as a global power house, IndiGo aspires to welcome 100 million customers on board in FY2024. By the end of this decade, IndiGo aims double in size and scale. The recent historic order of 500 A320 family aircraft will ensure further growth towards 2035. IndiGo will also continue to extend its scope, by spreading its wings internationally, developing from a domestic carrier to a global aviation giant; India by IndiGo. As result of having the youngest fleet in the world (of 100+ aircraft airlines) it is one of the lowest CO2 emitting airlines. Next to sustainability, also social responsibility (IndiGo Reach) plays an important role for IndiGo. Next to IndiGo’s CEO, Pieter is also a member of the Board of Governors at IATA and has been elected to hold the position of Chairman from 2025 onwards.
Pieter’s foundation and experience were formed in his impressive 30-year career at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. There, he started his career in 1992 on the ramp at Schiphol as Manager Aircraft loading. After several executive positions in Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Japan, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2011. During his 8-year tenure as President & CEO since 2014, he led KLM through an intensive transformation towards Europe’s most customer centric, sustainable and efficient network carrier. From 2020, Pieter and his team navigated KLM steadfastly through the pandemic. In his time as CEO of KLM, he was also an executive of the Air France-KLM Group and had various supervisory and advisory positions.
Pieter, a Dutch national, holds a Bachelor degree (BSc) in Logistics Management (Academy of Venlo) and a Master degree (MSc) in Business Economics (Open University in Amsterdam). He has completed executive programs at IMD (Lausanne) and Columbia University (New York). Pieter is bestowed with the title of Commander in the Order of Orange-Nassau (amongst the highest royal decorations in The Netherlands). He is married and with they are blessed with three children. Convinced that a healthy mind equals a healthy body, Pieter runs regularly to stay fit. His personal interests cover history & cultures.