“GE is a great believer in Tony and his leadership. We invest in people and vision,”
Tony has entered business ventures aside from AirAsia. Tony also leads Tune Group, which currently includes Tune Hotels, a no-frills hotel chain that offers "5-star beds at 1-star prices;" Tune Sports, which runs the ASEAN Basketball League; Tune Money, which caters to the financial needs of the underserved market at affordable prices; and Tune Talk, a mobile phone service that offers the lowest flat rate for calls. Tune Group also has an investment in 1Malaysia F1 Team to support the 1Malaysia initiative and to provide an avenue for Malaysia to advance in the global sports scene.
In recognition of his contribution to the Malaysian music industry, he received the title ‘Setia Mahkota Selangor’ from Duli Yang Maha Mulia DiPertuan Agong, Sultan Salahudin Abdul Aziz Shah in 1993 and in 1997, the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia has honored him with ‘Recording Industry Person of the Year 1997’.
In July 2005, Tony was conferred the Darjah Datuk Paduka Tuanku Ja’afar (DPTJ) which carries the title Dato’ by the Negeri Sembilan’s Yang DiPertuan Besar Tuanku Ja’afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman in conjunction with His Majesty’s 83rd birthday in recognition of his services rendered to the betterment of the nation and community.
Tony joins the ranks of 237 of the world’s elite leaders in ‘Young Global Leaders’, an organization for individuals who have committed their knowledge and expertise to engage in major global undertakings to shape the future. Tony is the recipient of the International Herald Tribune award for the Visionaries & Leadership Series, for his outstanding work in AirAsia.
In Dec 2003, Tony was named “Malaysian Chief Executive Officer of the Year 2003” by American Express and Business Times. In 2004, he garnered the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year – Malaysia 2003 Award by Ernst & Young, and was also named Asia Pacific Aviation Executive by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) for the year of 2004-2005.
Recognized for his unique leadership and entrepreneurial skills, Tony was named BusinessWeek’s 25 Stars of Asia in 2004. In 2005, AirAsia made it to Forbes’ annual listing of the “Best under a Billion” companies in Asia. Most recently Tony was named the winner of Airline Business Strategy Award for Regional and Low Cost Leadership by Airline Business and the Master Entrepreneur category of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Malaysia 2006. He also bagged the 2006/07 ‘The Brand Laureate’ Brand Personality for his exemplary performance, dedication and contribution towards the aviation industry in Malaysia.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes received today the Orient Aviation Person of the Year for 2009 award for successfully leading AirAsia, which has in only eight years grown to become the world's best low-cost airline and Asia's largest.
CNN Talk Asia: You actually have pictures of some of the Man U stars on your planes. How much of this was based on the fact that you're a fan of Man U?
Tony Fernandes: Actually I hate Manchester United. It was a very painful decision to sponsor them. But we all have to be a prostitute once in a while. I sort of side for West Ham United which is a great training ground for adversity, 'cause they're always doing badly. But you know, hey, they're the biggest football club and the biggest brand, sports brand.
"I think fans can look forward to tough competition, high standard of play, exciting competitions at half-time, audience participation, and a chance to travel to watch sport," said Fernandes. "You know, when I grew up, I spent a lot of time in England, and we'll be excited to go off to Manchester at the weekend to watch the world's greatest team in the world, West Ham play."