CEO, AirAsia Group
As one of Asia’s most recognizable entrepreneurs, Tony Fernandes is best known for cofounding low-cost carrier AirAsia with Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and democratizing air travel in the region.
Tony and Datuk Kamarudin famously bought the ailing airline for a token MYR1 (approximately US$0.25) and MYR40m in debt, turning it around within two years and growing it from a Malaysian domestic carrier into Asia’s largest low-cost carrier by passengers carried.
Tony studied in the United Kingdom and qualified as an Associate Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in 1991 and a Fellow Member in 1996. An accountant by training, he began his career at Virgin Group and later returned to Malaysia as Warner Music Group’s Vice President for Southeast Asia before venturing into the airline business.
Tony has received numerous honors and awards. These include the Honour of the Commander of the Order of the British Empire, conferred by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2011, and the Commander of the Legion d’Honneur for his outstanding contributions toward the economy of France through the aviation industry.