Malaysian low-cost carrier pioneer and founder of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, has picked up the Forbes Asia vote as businessman of the year (FULL DETAILS HERE).
Fernandes has also given an interview in the December issue of Forbes Asia magazine - you can read the full Forbes article here - but here's a small extract to give you a taster:
"It's a very depressing business, the airline business, with all the politics, all the rubbish, volcanoes," he says."But if I want to get a high,I just walk down to the terminal, and see the numbers of people who want to take photographs with me. It's not the vanity part. It's that we have genuinely changed people's lives by allowing them to travel. Regularly, an old man will come up to me and say, 'I never thought I would be in a plane before I died, but now I can be.' Or 'Now I can go home and see where I was born"
Asia's businessman of the year has also been giving Airline Business his personal reflections on the past 25 years of the sector and on the challenges ahead, as part of our 25th anniversary issue. Here's a small extract and you can READ HIS FULL CONTRIBUTION HERE:
"On 13 October, less than nine years after a dream called Air-Asia became reality, the 100 millionth "guest" was flown on our airline. It takes some getting used to, realising that the AirAsia team has truly given birth to a low-cost airline that has spearheaded a real change in the travel landscape of South-East Asia.
I never actually thought I had the balls to do it, especially in a region where low-cost travel just hadn't been invented and national carriers ruled the roost. When I look back at the AirAsia journey, I see how fine the line can be between brilliance and stupidity. So far, with a mixture of perseverance and stubbornness, we've managed to stay on the right side of this line."
Fernandes has given two cover interviews to Airline Business, most recently in June last year. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
For details of the full 25 industry leader contributions and the rest of our 25th anniversary coverage, GO TO OUR ANNIVERSARY HOMEPAGE