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I have a big shoe to fill, says AirAsia M’sia’s new CEO

June 18, 2012

She vows to maintain 60% domestic market share.

KUALA LUMPUR: Profit-making budget carrier AirAsia’s newly appointed CEO for Malaysia’s operations Aireen Omar aims to maintain 60% er cent domestic market share.

“I know I have a big shoe to fill and I am confident to keep the target alive. Everyone can fly not only now but forever.

“We have 60% domestic and 40% international market share. We intend to maintain that and grow it,” she told reporters after being named AirAsia’s CEO for Malaysia’s operations.

Aireen said AirAsia Malaysia would continue to be creative and innovative. She said maintaining market leadership, cost discipline and increasing revenue would be among the main challenges helming the post.

Aireen, former AirAsia’s regional head of corporate finance, treasury and investor relations, succeeds group CEO Tony Fernandes, who will move to Jakarta to oversee the airline’s expansion plans in the Asean region, effective July 1.

AirAsia has set up a regional office in Jakarta, AirAsia Asean.

Fernandes said that it had become clear that as AirAsia entered its second decade, there need to be a major shift in the group’s perspective, strategies and operations to sustain its trajectory.

“She [Aireen] might look sweet but she’s aggressive, tough as me with different approaches. She’s no Little Red Riding Hood and don’t be fooled by her exterior.

“Malaysia has grown to be profitable, from a baby to a teenager. So, we are now leaving our teenager to Aireen and heading to become an adult,” he said, adding that the 38-year-old Aireen will report directly to him.

Meanwhile, AirAsia co-founder Kamarudin Meranun said Aireen kept AirAsia “ahead of the curve” during the credit crisis.

“While other airline companies got into trouble when they failed to secure any financing at all, Aireen was able to lock up financing at very competitive rates for two years to buy aircraft for AirAsia,” he added.



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