Malaysia Airlines has confirmed AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes will join the board as a non-independent, non-executive director. The two Malaysian carriers are expected to detail a major cross-shareholding deal imminently.

Fernandes' appointment is one of a string board changes announced by Malaysia Airlines today, as well as the departure of managing director Tengku Azmil with effect from today. Azmil, who has been with the carrier for seven years first as chief financial officer and latterly as managing director, will take up a new role as executive director, investments, at Malaysia Airlines's largest shareholder, Khazanah Nasional.

The Malaysia Airlines board has established an executive committee chaired by Mohammed Rashdan bin Mohd Yusof and including Fernandes, which will oversee management of the company until a new managing director is appointed.

Trading in shares of AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines were suspended yesterday ahead of expected announcement on a cross-shareholding agreemenmt between the two carriers.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news