Omar takes top finance job

Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia has a new group chief financial officer (CFO) following the departure of Raja Azmi Raja Razali to head new Malaysian airline Fly Asian Xpress (FAX).

Taking up the post is Rozman Omar, who has been with the AirAsia Group for some time. Until his 1 August appointment as group CFO he had been seconded to Indonesia as CFO of the group's associate carrier there. Indonesia AirAsia, formerly AWAIR, was launched in 2004 and it is 49%-owned by Kuala Lumpur-based AirAsia. The group has been expanding through the establishment of 49%-owned associate carriers and it also has a Bangkok-based unit called Thai AirAsia.

Rozman takes over as CFO as AirAsia is working to replace its fleet of 35 Boeing 737-300s with purchased Airbus A320s, six of which are now in service. It recently firmed up options on 40 of the type, lifting firm orders to 100 from 60.

He also takes over as the AirAsia Group is looking at establishing associate carriers in other parts of Asia, such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. AirAsia has been expanding its Malaysian domestic operations following the withdrawal of services on many routes by financially troubled Malaysia Airlines (MAS).

Raja Azmi had been AirAsia's CFO for several years and helped steer the carrier through a rapid growth phase that began with it operating a handful of 737-300s. He also steered it through an initial public offering late in 2004.

He is one of three shareholders and the founding chief executive of FAX, which was recently set up to take over the turboprop operations of MAS. Other FAX shareholders are two of AirAsia's founders, group chief executive Tony Fernandes and deputy group chief executive Kamarudin Meranun.

Source: Airline Business