Past Speakers Tony Fernandes
Group CEO, AirAsia
Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, 54 years old, is a co-founder of AirAsia. He was appointed as a Non-Independent Executive Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Group Berhad (AAGB) on 30 March 2018. Fernandes is one of Asia's most recognisable entrepreneurs, best known for co-founding AirAsia and democratising air travel in the region. In December 2001, Fernandes, together with Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, Dato' Pahamin Ab Rajab and Dato' Abdul Aziz bin Abu Bakar, acquired struggling domestic airline AirAsia and, with the help of Conor McCarthy, relaunched it as a pioneer of budget travel in Asia, subsequently building it into the world's best low-cost carrier. Fernandes studied in the UK, and qualified as an Associate Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in 1991, then as a Fellow Member in 1996. An accountant by training, he began his career in Virgin Group before returning to Malaysia as Warner Music Group's Vice President for Southeast Asia. This was just prior to launching AirAsia. He has received numerous honours and awards over the course of his career. These include 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, awarded by the French Government for outstanding contributions to the economy of France through the aviation industry. Fernandes is also a Non-Independent Non-Executive Director of AirAsia X Berhad.