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CEO Of AirAsia Answers 10 Questions

Posted in Air Asia, Airline News1 comment

1 Who is behind your success and what is your philosophy in life? – Anne Athi, Penang

Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes

My father and mother. I believe in the unbelievable, dream the impossible and never take no for an answer.

2 You are such an inspiring and positive person. You are featured in nearly every magazine, but how come you don’t talk about your personal life? For instance, are you married with children? – Doris Ong, clinic nurse, Ipoh

It’s a rule I have with my family and I do not intend to change it. Business is business, personal life is separate.

3AirAsia is now one of the co-sponsors for F1 team AT&T Williams. As AirAsia is a budget carrier and is all about low frills and low cost, does it fit into AirAsia’s strategy to sponsor such a team? – Shane Lai, businessman, PJ

The purpose to sponsor fitted nicely with our strategy especially with AirAsia X’s route map. The F1 is held in some destinations that AirAsia X flies to or will be flying in the future. We would not have sold 25,000 tickets to London if not for the marketing and branding. I also motivate my staff to have high quality and efficiency like the F1 team.

4 How do you see 2009 affecting your business and what are your strategies to overcome this and the competition with Malaysia Airlines? – Lim Meng Siang, investment banker, KL

MAS is obsessed with what AirAsia is doing. They really should be focusing on their market and business, as lack of focus will cause them dearly in years to come. We have moved on. Our battle was about getting rights, we have got them. Our challenge is to continuously keep our fares low and cost down. We are also not looking over our shoulders and believe competition comes from within us.

5 How many flying hours do your pilots have on average and what is their average age? – M.K. Leong, lawyer

Our pilots fly 90 hours. I have to check their age as I do not carry that information in my wallet.

6 How do you intend to reward your shareholders when you keep buying new aircraft at a time when other airlines are scaling down? – Jenny Low, businesswoman

Airline business is not about quarterly profits, it is a cyclical business with ups and downs. AirAsia has a 10-year plan and we are half way through that plan. America’s Southwest Airlines recorded long-term growth and not quarterly profits and they have done very well. To us growth continuity is key in our business and so is growing market share. We have elevated ourselves and have the staying power. AirAsia is a long-term bet.

7 What are the criteria in picking your air stewardess? MAS air stewardess, while also pretty, look more “simple’’ whereas AirAsia stewardess have a more “dangerous’ look. Just curious – Marilyn Phoon, former SIA air stewardess, now E & E engineer

I suppose stewardess should not look the same and I cannot tell them how to look. I leave that to them but they have to be comfortable with their appearance to interact and exude a natural feeling. Crews are the stars of the show and individuality is all about being you, and that is all about creativity and innovation.

8 When flights are late and I try to call your customer service to check the flight status, nobody answers or I am put on hold for an unnecessary long period of time. Why is that so? – Rose Irene Mohammad Ali, chemical engineer, KL

Certainly our call centres have not kept up with the growth the airline has experienced and that explains the huge number of customer calls. We are urging customers to self-serve. We try to send SMS and keep updating customers. We are now outsourcing our call centre but at the same time we are conscious of our cost as higher cost will lead to higher fares.

9 Why do you not package Tune Hotel and AirAsia tickets together? – S.C. Leong, retired auditor

There are some packages but these are two separate companies, although they have common shareholders.

10 Why don’t you sell two-way tickets instead of quoting one-way tickets? – Grace Leong, teenager

One way tickets give greater flexibility and efficiency for people to change.

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  1. Last year i went for AirAsia interview in KL all way from Penang. When i went for 1st interview they choose me n i went for the next day interview in AirAsia College but u know they never even bother to check ur resume or qualification but just 1st give english grammar test, 2nd they choose one friend form there n ask u to elaborate abt their self n next other friend tel the same n the last they ask u to do group team. From this they choose the candidate. i feel very disappoint for the interview becoz they are more qualified people but last they choose ppl that dont hv any exp. There is a friend she used to work in Qatar Airline but she also did get. I dont knw wat to say.

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