Thursday, December 14, 2017

AirAsia rejigs top managers as it seeks non-airline growth

Outgoing AirAsia Malaysia CEO Aireen Omar, left, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, second from left, and Omar's sucessor Riad Asmat, second from right. Photo by: Photo by Ying Xian Wong
KUALA LUMPUR -- AirAsia announced Wednesday leadership changes, as the budget carrier with the biggest fleet in the region seeks growth from non-airline businesses and digital operations.
Aireen Omar, the current chief executive of the carrier's Malaysian operations will be promoted to deputy group CEO overseeing digital, transformation and corporate services. The new position, effective Jan. 10, will see the 44-year-old drive the group's non-airline units, including online payment BigPay, duty-free shopping and in-flight catering Santan.
AirAsia has been investing in artificial intelligence over the past two years to optimize operations and customize air ticket sales, Tony Fernandes, group CEO of the low-cost carrier, said during a press conference.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes speaks at a news conference at the AirAsia headquarters in Sepang, Malaysia. © Reuters Photo by: © Reuters
"With customer data, we can sell more to our customers like what Alibaba and Amazon have done," he added.
AirAsia had said it wanted to grow each non-airline business unit to create greater value for the group and spin off these units through listing in the future to pay special dividends. The group is in talks to sell stakes in its aircraft leasing unit with an estimated value of $1 billion. Fernandes said he hopes to reach a deal by March.
The group, which has associate companies in India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand, is reorganizing through a share-swap to create an investment holding company. The intention is to turn AirAsia into a pure-play budget carrier under the holding company.
Aireen joined the group as director of corporate finance in 2006 and rose to the current position after going through the treasury, fuel procurement and investor relations departments.
She will be replaced by Riad Asmat, a director for corporate planning at Naza Corp. Holdings, a local dealer of luxury vehicles and property development.
The carrier also promoted Adrian Jenkins, currently group director for flight operations to chief operations officer. He will be in charge of group operations, engineering, safety as well as to drive the group's on-time performance.
Another executive, Rozman Omar, currently deputy group CEO for strategy and M&A has been appointed executive director of AirAsia International, a holding company of the group's overseas investments. He will drive the consolidation exercise to put units in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines under a listed holding company to be named One AirAsia.
Researcher Ying Xian Wong contributed to this article.

1 comment:

Twinkle said...

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