TONY FERNANDES is one of Asia’s most dynamic entrepreneurs, helming AirAsia, the region’s largest airline group, as its Group Chief Executive Officer since the founding of the first AirAsia low-cost carrier in Malaysia in 2001. Under his leadership, AirAsia won the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline Award four years in a row from 2009 to 2012 chosen from a survey of 18 million travellers from around the world.

Armed with a vision to democratise air travel in Asia, Tony and his partners took over an ailing Malaysian carrier in 2001 for US$0.25, assuming US$15 million in debt, and in less than two years, turned the carrier around despite a challenging post-September 11, 2001 environment. AirAsia has since grown into a 130-aircraft network operating from bases in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan. Tony also started international budget hotel chain, Tune Hotels, and is co-owner of the Queens Park Rangers Football Club and the Caterham Formula 1 Team.