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AirAsia announces a series of changes to its Board of Directors

Kuala Lumpur, 6 November 2013

AirAsia today announced the re-designation of key executives within the organization.

Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun has been re-designated as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, where he will take the lead in engaging with the government, aviation regulators and airport authorities in Malaysia. He replaces Dato’ Aziz Bakar who remains on the board as a non-independent non-executive director. This appointment follows the practice of appointing a Tune Air representative as Chairman and is effective from 06 November 2013.

“Dato’ Kamarudin has spent more than a decade building AirAsia into the world’s largest low-cost carrier and I look forward to the industry experience he will bring as chair of the Board,” said Aireen Omar, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Berhad.

“The Board members would also like to take the opportunity to thank Dato’ Aziz for playing a vital role in the success of the company as Chairman these past five years.”

In addition, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes was re-designated as Group Chief Executive Officer and non-independent executive Director following the recent merging of the regional office’s Group functions back into AirAsia Berhad. As Group CEO, Fernandes will provide overall leadership to the group in driving brand value, reducing cost and driving efficiencies to improve performance of the airline and other affiliates within the AirAsia network including Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and soon to be India.

“The regional office we set up in Jakarta as AirAsia Asean two years ago has achieved its objective in providing focused leadership to the Group and guiding expansion within the region. As such, we are merging most Group functions back into AirAsia Berhad to ensure alignment within the core management team and to simplify the operation,” Fernandes said.

“Kamarudin and I will be more involved in the operations of AirAsia Berhad as we continue our growth in the region and we will continue to focus on reducing costs. AirAsia has been on a cost-reduction drive, which has seen good success in the 3rd quarter and will continue in the 4th quarter. AirAsia Asean will remain in Jakarta where I will continue to personally lead regional policy engagement. Jakarta remains the nerve centre of Asean while Indonesia is the region’s largest market by far, and there is still much we want to do there. Our future lies with the future of Asean and we are committed to doing our utmost to ensure the success of the region we call home.”

With this change, Rozman Omar will also return to AirAsia Berhad as Group Chief Financial Officer where he will utilise his extensive experience in finance to develop a group-wide growth strategy that will create long-term value for shareholders. Andrew Littledale will continue as CFO of AirAsia Berhad.

Kamarudin said the changes followed months of discussions between himself and Fernandes, and are aimed at sustaining AirAsia’s growth trajectory.

“Given the highly regulated nature of the aviation industry and the importance of airport infrastructure and financial charges to the LCC model, Tony and I feel that this role is critical in protecting AirAsia Berhad’s long term sustainability and value. This will include handling all external issues that affect the aviation industry, most notably KLIA2 but also the development of Kota Kinabalu, Johor Bahru and Kota Bahru. This cannot be done piecemeal or on an ad hoc basis and I will be leveraging my experience and ownership to liaise with the government to ensure the industry and nation benefit. Low cost always wins and one of the most important parts of my new role will be to reduce costs at airports and to emphasise to the government that any cost increases will be detrimental to the Malaysian economy. Malaysia is now the leader in low cost travel and we must not lose that advantage. Given AirAsia’s size and our plans for the future, plus the challenges in the aviation industry, it is going to be almost a full-time job in itself,” he said.

Aireen Omar remains CEO of AirAsia Berhad and will report to the Chairman on regulatory and stakeholder management and to the Group CEO on operational performance matters.

“Aireen is doing an amazing job in leading the company as well as building strong relationships with key stakeholders in the government and she will continue to manage our Malaysian operations,” Fernandes said.

Details of the changes effective 6 November 2013 are as follows:

  5 November 2013 6 November 2013
DATO’ KAMARUDIN MERANUN NON-INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NON-INDEPENDENT EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
DATO’ AZIZ BAKAR NON-INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE CHARIMAN NON-INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
TAN SRI TONY FERNANDES NON-INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NON-INDEPENDENT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR