Born: 30 April 1964
Did you know?
In 2010, Forbes Asia valued Fernandes’ personal wealth at $400 million ranking him at number 19 on the Forbes list of Malaysia’s Richest.
Tan Sri Anthony Francis Fernandes is a Malaysian entrepreneur and the founder of Tune Air Sdn. Bhd., who introduced the first budget no-frills airline, AirAsia, to Malaysians with the tagline “Now everyone can fly”. He has since founded the Tune Group of companies.
He rose to prominence by turning AirAsia, a failing government-linked commercial airline, into a highly successful budget airline public-listed company. Fernandes was also instrumental in lobbying the then-Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in mid-2003, to propose the idea of open skies agreementswith neighbouring Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore. As a result, these nations have granted landing rights to AirAsia and other discount carriers. AirAsia, the heavily-indebted subsidiary of the Malaysian government-owned conglomerate, DRB-Hicom, was losing money speedily. Instead of starting from scratch, Mahathir advised Fernandes to buy an existing airline instead. Fernandes mortgaged his home and sank his savings to acquire the company, comprising two ageing and US$11 million worth of debts, for 26 US cents and transformed it into an industry player.
In 2007, Tony Fernandes started a hotel chain, Tune Hotels, based on the no-frills concept. Expansions are happening and new Tune Hotels will be opening soon in Bali, Indonesia.
As of 2009, Fernandes is also the president of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
Fernandes is the team principal of the Caterham F1 Formula One team, which began racing in 2010 as Lotus Racing and raced in 2011 as Team Lotus. In 2011 he was the majority shareholder of Queens Park Rangers.
International Herald Tribune Award for the “Visionaries & Leadership Series”, for his outstanding work in AirAsia;
2003: “Malaysian CEO of the Year 2003″
2003 : CEO of the Year award by American Express Corporate Services and Business Times .
2003: “Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year” in the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards”
2005: Made the list of Business Week’s “25 Stars of Asia”
2006: “Malaysian Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
2009: “Excellence In Leadership – Asia Pacific Leadership Awards
2010 Forbes Asia businessman of the year