Tony Fernandes resigns as AirAsia X group CEO

He will focus on Capital A, the holding company of AirAsia Aviation Group.

Belmont Lay | November 01, 2022, 10:58 AM

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Tony Fernandes resigned as AirAsia X's group CEO on Oct. 31 with immediate effect, about four months after he was reappointed to the post, Bernama reported.

The airline said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia that the resignation was due to Fernandes' "other commitments".

No other reason for the resignation was given in the filing.

But an AirAsia X news release stated that Fernandes wants to deliver "significant value to shareholders of Capital A" after having brought AirAsia X "back to life from hibernation" following his return to the company.

AirAsia X had redesignated Fernandes as its group CEO in July.

The Straits Times reported, citing a "well-placed source", that Fernandes wants to now concentrate on the parent company Capital A, which is the holding company of AirAsia Aviation Group and focus on lifting the Practice Note 17 (PN17) status for AAX, a long-haul budget airline based in Malaysia.

Fernandes is the chief executive of Capital A.

PN17 is a tag given to financially distressed firms, which can be delisted, should they fail to regularise their finances within a certain frame, ST also reported.

On Monday, Fernandes disclosed that his key focus would be delivering significant value to shareholders of Capital A, including the AirAsia Aviation Group, aviation services, logistics, travel, fintech and the e-commerce lifestyle platform.

“I am confident that AAX will come back stronger providing a great value mid-range travel, led by the senior leadership teams in Malaysia and Thailand.

“I went in with a clear mandate to restart AirAsia X 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.

“My job was to bring the airline back to profitability and growth. We have improved the cost structure, and created the cargo business, which has contributed about 20 per cent to the airline’s revenue during the pandemic and will continue to play a vital role in the recovery of AAX,” he said.

Top photo via Tony Fernandes