Christie Lee
Jul 11, 2019

Tony Fernandes’ AirAsia plans: from airline to lifestyle brand

From digital banking and esports to restaurants, Fernandes talked about ambitious expansion goals for AirAsia at Rise conference.

Tony Fernandes at Rise conference (Source: Harry Murphy/RISE via Sportsfile)

Tony Fernandes is perhaps best known as the music mogul-turned airline owner who bought the struggling AirAsia for the grand total of one ringgit in 2001. In the past 18 years, the budget airline has gone from two planes and 254 staff, to 260 planes and 2,100 staff. In 2001, it carried 200,000 passengers. That number has risen to 100 million in 2019.

That didn’t just happen overnight, nor was it magic. Fernandes emphasised...

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