AirAsia X chairman Mahmood Fawzy has stepped down after over a year in the role, following the carrier’s exiting financially distressed status. 

Mahmood’s tenure as airline chair ended 15 December, and the airline has appointed Fam Lee Ee – currently deputy chair – to be acting chair until the “imminent” appointment of a new successor. 

AirAsia X A330

Source: Wikimedia Commons

An AirAsia X Airbus A330 at Seoul Incheon airport.

Mahmood was appointed to the board in June 2022, and became AirAsia X chair in August the same year. He was tasked with addressing the airline’s Practice Note 17 (PN17) status – a categorisation for troubled businesses by the Malaysian stock exchange. 

At the time, AirAsia X was still heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, during which international travel restrictions grounded nearly its entire fleet. 

The low-cost, medium-haul carrier has since turned its financial position around, culminating in the successful uplifting of the PN17 status in November, following consecutive quarters of profitability. 

AirAsia X founder and executive director Kamarudin Meranun paid tribute to Mahmood’s “invaluable contributions”, adding: “His vision and dedication have been instrumental in reshaping AAX as a world-leading low-cost mid-range airline and we stand poised to continue our journey as a trailblazer in the aviation industry, leveraging the strong foundation laid under his stewardship.”

Also stepping down from the airline board is non-executive director Farouk Kamal, who will be pursuing “new opportunities” in AirAsia X parent Capital A. Like Mahmood, Farouk was appointed to the airline board in June 2022.