KUALA LUMPUR – Low-cost airline AirAsia group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes has been named Airline Chief Executive Officer of the Year for the third consecutive year by the Centre for Aviation (CAPA).
Commenting on the award, Fernandes said AirAsia had come a long way since he first won the accolade in 2004 to become a truly ASEAN airline.
He said with operations in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, and soon, Japan, the airline now has more than 200 aircraft and 17,000 staff.
“We’re the only airline that flies to all 10 ASEAN nations and, with Fly-Thru, we can connect the whole of Asia Pacific from Japan, Korea and China to Australia and New Zealand to India and beyond, in just one stop. We even fly as far as Mauritius now,” he said in a statement today.
The award was presented to him at the 2016 CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence in Amsterdam.
CAPA executive chairman Peter Harbison said the award was given to Tony to acknowledge his success in steering AirAsia to increased profitability and an improved outlook this year following an “extremely challenging” 2015.
He said the award also noted the new capital raised from the issuance of new shares, expansion of operations in China, the upcoming relaunch of AirAsia Japan and the formation of an aircraft leasing business, which was expected to be spun off, raising more capital and reducing group leverage.
“AirAsia is back at the front of the pack in the challenging Asian market and Tony has once again shown why he is one of the industry’s leading executives.
“The original short-haul operations in Malaysia and Thailand are again among the most profitable airlines in Asia, while Indonesia and the Philippines are expected to be profitable again in the second half of this year,” he said.
He said that AirAsia X was also back in the black following a restructuring. – BERNAMA