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Tony Fernandes      

Group CEO AirAsia Malaysia

Tony Fernandes founded Tune Air Sdn Bhd in 2001, with a vision to make air travel more affordable to Malaysians. With that in mind, Tony and his three partners bought over AirAsia from its owner DRB-Hicom. Tune Air's initial project was to remodel AirAsia into a low fare no frills carrier after successful low fare airlines such as U.S.-based Southwest Airlines and Dublin-based Ryanair and create a new aviation product in Malaysia.

Under Tony's leadership, the fledgling airline with a RM40 million debt became a thriving business. The airline repaid all debts and has been in a profitable position from the first day of operation. In less than 3 years, AirAsia grew from 2 modest Boeing 737-300 to 30 and is now operating over 100 domestic and international daily flights from hubs in KLIA, Johor Bahru , Bangkok and Jakarta.

Under his wings, AirAsia went on to revolutionize the air travel industry in Malaysia and pioneered the low cost phenomenon in Asia. In 2004, AirAsia formed successful joint ventures in Thailand and Indonesia where AirAsia holds 49% stake in both companies. Thai AirAsia, a joint venture with Shin Corporation, Thailand's largest telecommunication conglomerate, took to the skies in Feb 2004 and has to date carried over 1 million passengers in its first year of operations. PT AWAIR , re-launched as a low fare airline on Dec 8th 2004 presently served 5 domestic destinations in Indonesia.

Tony is a familiar face in the aviation industry as well as on an international level. He has appeared on the covers of Airline Business magazine, Asian Wall Street Journal, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, and featured on countless international publications such as South China Morning Post, Financial Times, Far Eastern Economic Review, The Economist, and many more.

Away from aviation, Fernandes is president of the Asian Basketball League and in 2010 he revived the Lotus Formula One team before renaming it Caterham in 2012. In August 2011, he was unveiled as the majority shareholder of English soccer Premier League’s Queens Park Rangers, where is is also chairman of QPR Holdings Ltd.

Recognized for his unique leadership and entrepreneurial skills, Tony speaks on the growing business market in India and South East Asia believing that staff is the first priority, and that creativity and innovation in business are crucial.

AirAsia has been named the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards 10 times in a row from 2009 to 2018. AirAsia was also awarded World's Leading Low-Cost Airline for the sixth consecutive year at the 2018 World Travel Awards, where it also won the World's Leading Low-Cost Airline Cabin Crew award for a second straight year.

Fernandes has received numerous honours and awards over the course of his career. These include the Honour of the Commander of the Order of the British Empire, conferred by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2011, and the Commander of the Legion d’Honneur, awarded by the French government for his outstanding contributions towards the economy of France through the aviation industry.

In 2010, Fernandes was named Businessman of the Year by Forbes Asia - the first person from Malaysia and Asean to receive the honour - for democratising air travel and transforming AirAsia into a successful global brand. TIME Magazine included Fernandes in the 2015 TIME 100 list, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world which included Chinese President Xi Jinping, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and hip-hop artist Kanye West.

In 2016, Fernandes was recognised by the US-Asean Business Council with the Fourth Pillar Award for his extraordinary contribution towards the growth of Asean, the second recipient of the award after the Administration of US President Barack Obama.


12 success strategies of AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes

MALAYSIA — Congratulations to AirAsia Group boss Tony Fernandes of Malaysia and his business partner, the Philippines’ undisputed “Juice King” Alfredo “Fred” M. Yao. On Dec. 7, I was one of the guests on the inaugural flight Z2 511 of budget airline AirAsia Zest from Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 4 to Miri City in the Sarawak state of Malaysia, which took only two hours and 20 minutes...

Tony Fernandes, AirAsia CEO Honored as the Malaysian Achievement Award of the Year

Renowned Malaysian entrepreneur, Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes of AirAsia was awarded the top title at the 1st Malaysian Achievement Award at the prestigious Double Tree by Hilton, along Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. He was recognized for his efforts in flying the Malaysian entrepreneurial spirit on both local and global fronts...

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