AirAsia co-founder and Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has won the 2016 EY Asean Entrepreneurial Excellence Award for his contribution to the region.
He received the award at a gala dinner at the Ritz Carlton Millennia here last night.
Ernst & Young awards the accolade annually to Asean entrepreneurs who have demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction, global or community impact, innovation, and personal integrity or influence.
AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said, “It is a great honour to be recognised by EY. An entrepreneur is only as good as his people though and I would like take this opportunity to thank the 17,000 AirAsia Allstars who made it all possible. Through their hard work and dedication, they help make our dream of bringing Asean closer together a reality.”
He added: “A strong, united Asean is so important for the people of the region, and individual member states may have to make some sacrifices for the greater good. We’re on the right track with the common market, which recognises the need for the free flow capital, goods and labour. It’s time we go further and push for a common visa for Asean as well as common ownership. We need more Asean brands to challenge established players in North Asia, Europe, and the US, and we can only achieve that by pooling our resources together.”
Max Loh, EY Asean and Singapore Managing Partner said, “From being an auditor to a music executive before buying over a loss-making airline, turning it around and transforming AirAsia to become an award-winning low-cost carrier, Tony’s entrepreneurial journey is truly distinctive and inspiring. AirAsia has helped to boost intra-regional connectivity and bring the world closer to Southeast Asia with its network. This has had a significant positive impact on the region’s movement of trade and people, as well as labor opportunities—exemplifying the far-reaching socio-economic contributions that a single entrepreneur can have as a game-changing industry leader.”
With the largest number of passengers carried and the biggest jet fleet in Asia, AirAsia boasts an extensive network of more than 120 destinations across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa.
AirAsia earned the title of World’s Best Low-Cost Airline for the eighth consecutive year, and AirAsia X secured the World’s Best Low-Cost Premium Cabin and Premium Seat award for the fourth consecutive year at the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards.
AirAsia also received the title of Asia’s Leading Inflight Service at the recent World Travel Awards for its outstanding inflight service. It surpassed full-service carriers in the region, repeating its historic achievement from the previous year when it became the first low-cost carrier to win Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew.