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Monday, 15 August 2011

Airasia's Tony Fernandes: Low fares here to stay

Fernandes: If we increase fares, less people are going to fly. The whole basis of AirAsia is to make people fly.
A decade long rivalry between AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines (MAS) came to an abrupt end on Tuesday when major shareholders of both airlines extended the olive branch to forge a collaboration agreement.

The battles between AirAsia and MAS have been long and loud, to say the least, with Tan Sri Tony Fernandes protesting over stumbling blocks placed on the path of his fast growing low-cost carrier resulting in it not securing new lucrative routes and not having low-cost carrier terminals (LCCTs) to support growth.

With Khazanah Nasional Bhd holding controlling stakes in MAS and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, AirAsia was relegated to a “step-child” status in the aviation sector.

But with this deal, Fernandes, who is best known for not having a defeatist attitude and his tenacity to push boundaries, can now give up the tiresome “lobbying” to grow AirAsia and its sister airline AirAsia X.

In an interview with StarBizWeek, Fernandes, who sits on MAS board and an executive committee set up to oversee the management of the airline until a new managing director is appointed, shares his thoughts on the deal.


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