Y. Bhg. Datuk Tony Fernandes,
Group CEO of Air Asia Bhd.


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 fledging airline with a RM40 million debt became a blooming, thriving business. In less than 3 years, AirAsia grew from 2 modest Boeing 737-300 to 21 and is now operating over 100 domestic and international daily flights from hubs in KLIA, Johor Bahru, Bangkok and Jakarta . Today, AirAsia is a leading low fare, no frills airline in Southeast Asia , which has flourished into a household name in Malaysia , Thailand and Indonesia . The award –winning airline is the recipient of the Asia Pacific Low Cost Airline of the Year 2004 by Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), and the Market Leadership Award by ATW magazine. In addition, AirAsia also clinched the prestigious Euromoney award for Asia 's Best Managed Company in the Airlines & Aviation Sector.

Tony was educated in United Kingdom in Finance. Upon graduation in 1987, Tony joined Virgin Group before moving on to Warner Music International London in 1989. Subsequently, Tony was transferred back to Malaysia in 1992. At the age of 28, Tony became the youngest person in recording industry's history to head Warner Music Malaysia - a role, which he excelled in. Tony's last serving role at Warner Music was as Vice President ASEAN. In recognition for his contribution to the Malaysia Music Industry, Tony was awarded the title of Setia Mahkota Selangor by His Royal Highness King of Malaysia Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah in 1999.

Tony is a member of the prestigious Young Global Leaders organization. He joins the ranks of 237 of the world's elite leader and individuals who will dedicate their knowledge and expertise to engage in major global undertakings to shape the future.

Tony is the recipient of the International Herald Tribune award for the Visionaries & Leadership Series, for his outstanding work in AirAsia. In Dec 2003, Tony was named “Malaysian CEO of the Year 2003” - a highly acclaimed recognition, so far awarded to only nine other recipients in the country, by American Express and Business Times. In 2004, he garnered the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year – Malaysia 2003 Award by Ernst & Young, and was also named Asia Pacific Aviation Executive of the Year 2004 by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA). Fernandes attributed his success in winning the Malaysia's CEO of the Year 2003 Award to his 800-odd staff in AirAsia. Fernandes and Edaran Otomobil Nasional Bhd managing director Datuk Adzmi Abdul Wahab Adzmi were named joint winners of the award, which is jointly organised by American Express Corporate Services and Business Times.

Tony Fernandes  received several other awards for outstanding achievements:

  • Business Week’s "25 Stars of Asia" in 2005.

  • "Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year®" in the Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards" in 2003.

  • "Malaysian CEO of the Year 2003" in December 2003.

  • International Herald Tribune Award for the "Visionaries & Leadership Series", for his outstanding work in AirAsia.

  • Named the joint winner of the CEO of the Year 2003 award by American Express Corporate Services and Business Times.

September 29, 2007 08:30:42 AM      INDEX : Who