AirAsia Aviation Group has appointed its co-founder and former chief executive Tony Fernandes as advisor and steward, as the deadline for merger negotiations with associate unit AirAsia X draws close.

The airline group’s board of directors “unanimously approved” Fernandes’ appointment, it says, citing his “exceptional entrepreneurial track record and unparalleled expertise in the aviation industry”.


Source: BillyPix

Fernandes is CEO of Capital A and will now be advisor to the AirAsia Aviation Group

Fernandes, who is also CEO of AirAsia parent Capital A, will “provide strategic oversight” to the airline group in areas such as expansion and succession planning. He will also be a “key conduit” between Capital A and the wider aviation sector, says AirAsia Aviation chair Jamaludin Ibrahim.

Capital A, which also has business units in aviation and travel services, as well as cargo and logistics, is in the process of divesting its airline business to associate AirAsia X, with medium- and short-haul operations to be merged under a single AirAsia brand.

The group recently extended the deadline for merger negotiations until 30 April. The deal is still subject to shareholder and court approvals, with Capital A previously expecting the process to wrap up by mid-2024.

Fernandes, who founded the low-cost airline more than 20 years ago, states: “[This] appointment will enable me to not only oversee my strong senior leadership team in aviation but to also ensure maximum leverage opportunities with our digital ecosystems.”

Separately, Capital A’s board has extended Fernandes’ tenure for another five years, putting to rest rumours of an imminent retirement. Among his priorities include “steering Capital A towards unlocking enhanced shareholder value”, through the execution of “profitable transactions” across the company.

“I am excited to embark on the journey of completing the full transformation of Capital A, poised to deliver tremendous value to its shareholders following the imminent disposal of its aviation business. Over the next two years, investors and shareholders will witness the rise of four strong pillars of business, born out of the AirAsia Group,” Fernandes says.