Tony Fernandes Steps Down as AirAsia X CEO

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Tunku Datuk Mahmood Fawzy will be appointed as the independent non-executive director of Thai AirAsia X (Thai AAX).

After almost four months of being appointed acting group chief executive officer of AirAsia X Bhd (AAX), Tony Fernandes was announced to have resigned yesterday, Monday, October 31, 2022. The reason provided in the company’s announcement cited the resignation was “due to other commitments.”

“Tony Fernandes, who was recently appointed as the acting group CEO, in addition to his position as a non-independent non-executive director of AAX in July this year, will be stepping down from his senior leadership positions with AAX, ensuring a smooth transition in leadership. Tunku Datuk Mahmood Fawzy will be appointed as the independent non-executive director of Thai AirAsia X (Thai AAX), both effective as of today,” AirAsia said in a statement yesterday evening.

Thai AirAsia X Spreads Wings to Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka and Sapporo! — airasia  newsroom
Image Credit: AirAsia Newsroom

AAX said the two latest key changes in its senior management team was to prepare the group for its next phase of growth as a mid-range airline, besides ensuring a smooth transition in leadership.

Fernandes, 58, was first appointed as AAX acting group CEO, as well as its non-independent non-executive director on July 8, following the resignation of Nadda Buranasiri as the group CEO in April, who had quit his post as CEO of Thai AAX.

The group then updated two weeks ago in an amended announcement to Bursa Malaysia on Oct 14 that Fernandes had also been redesignated as a non-independent executive director.


According to AAX, Tunku Mahmood Fawzy will focus on overseeing the strategic direction and driving sustainable growth for AAX and Thai AAX.

AirAsia X appoints Tunku Mahmood Fawzy as chairman | The Star
Tunku Mahmood Fawzy | Image Credit: The Star

“I am thrilled to join the Thai AAX board of directors as the group embarks on our new phase of growth as a predominantly mid-range airline. Our strategy is to focus on flying our most popular and profitable medium haul routes first, which have proven to be successful in the past including leveraging cargo operations in key markets,” said Tunku Mahmood Fawzy.

“AAX group is reborn and rebounding fast, thanks to strong pent up demand for affordable mid-range travel across Asia and Asia Pacific. The resurgence in AAX and Thai AAX as leading low-cost carriers in the mid-range category, would not have been possible without the outstanding leadership and support from Tony as acting group CEO. In just a short period of six months, AAX has already increased its cash flow by over 100% compared to when it restarted in April, with robust plans to continue this positive trajectory moving forward,” he added.

To cater to the “overwhelming consumer demand”, Tunku Mahmood Fawzy said the AAX group has added a significant number of new services for both Malaysia based AAX (D7) and Thailand based TAAX (XJ), “with many more in the pipeline”.

Fernandes, meanwhile, said the group has now improved its cost structure, and created the cargo business, which has contributed about 20% to the airline’s revenue during the pandemic and will continue to play a vital role in the recovery of AAX.


“I went in with a clear mandate to restart AAX and bring it back to life from hibernation. I am happy that this has been accomplished with a very edifying plan for 20 aircraft for the AAX group — 13 aircraft for AAX and seven for Thai AAX.

“I’m now going to focus on delivering significant value to shareholders of Capital A, including the AirAsia Aviation Group, aviation services, logistics, travel, fintech and the e-commerce lifestyle platform,” added Fernandes.

Source: The Edge Markets

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