Interview with AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandez
It has been a decade of operations for AirAsia and now that they are moving in to their second decade, they want to do more for their promise â€œNow Everyone Can Fly.â€
Today, August 7, 2012 in Jakarta Indonesia, AirAsia Group launched their regional hub in Jakarta Indonesia – location separate from the operations of their different AirAsia headquarters, yet a place full of economic growth and opportunities as explained by AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandez.
I was psyched to be a part of the press con, together with other publications and media such as CNN, Al Jazeera, NBC, Fox and many more. Itâ€™s a milestone event for me as a hybrid journalist/reporter/blogger. Just as this day is a milestone for me, same is true with AirAsia asean who aims for the world to be accessible for everyone. This expansion and a focused location for company strategies marks the beginning of AirAsia Groups growth and expansion plans.
Part of the press con was a pocket interview with one of the people behind the success of AirAsia himself, Tony Fernandez.
1. What is your â€œdream destination.â€
Tony: I wouldnâ€™t say a destination really, but to see a football match in a stadium in Rio. Hawaii would be nice too.
2. Speaking of â€œdreamsâ€ what are your current dreams for AirAsia?
Tony: Two things. (1) For AirAsia brand to be as well known as Coca-Cola in Asia, and that (2) AirAsia could evoke nice feelings from the people
3. What is the secret of Tony Fernandez?
Tony: Good people. I couldnâ€™t have built this without the fantastic people surrounding me. Itâ€™s like a current, I give energy to the people and they give it back to me
4. Tricky â€œMiss Universeâ€ type questionâ€¦
Me: If you were to choose one: Quantity or Quality? Which is it?
Tony: Thatâ€™s a hard question! It depends, for passengers Iâ€™d want quantity! But seriously, I would choose quality. I would rather have 1 great marketing manager than 25, 1 great tasting fried chicken than 25â€¦
5. Any message to Filipino travelers?
Tony: Yes, I think Filipinos were starved of international travel. Itâ€™s either Hong Kong, Singapore but AirAsia wants to offer more destinations, more accessibility. I want to make Philippines smaller, and also bring more tourists in the Philippines as well.
I enjoyed my interview with Tony as he is very accommodating, humble and honest. I do hope that his noble dreams will come true, because as a traveler, I would want to have more direct flights and accessibility to different destinations in the Philippines and the world!
On another note, I think I like being a hybrid journalist. Currently, I see it as a challenge I think I would be good at. You know me, when something gets me interested, Iâ€™m all out with passion in going after it.
Who says you can only have â€œOneâ€ dream? Me, I dream a lotâ€¦ and some of them, I have already achieved and once I do the feeling is GREAT!
Keep on dreaming and achieving guys!
disclaimer: Interview transcript above has been paraphrased, essence of the thought stays.