今週の"Face Value"はTony Fernandes*1。マレーシア人だ。
Par. 1. Who he is. He borned in Malaysia, and studied in London since he was 12 years old. He dreamed to his own low-cost airline as he couldn't go back home due to the cost of the flight.
Par. 2. What he is known for. He acquired AirAsia in 2001, and the sister long-haul operator AirAsia x started the service from Kuala Lumpur to London this month. The average cost of the flight is 179 GBP ($250).
Par. 3. The beginning of his career. He graduated the London School of Economics, and worked in the music industry 14 years. After working Virgin Records, he runed Warner Music in Malaysia, his homecountry. In 2001, the year of the merger between Time Warner and AOL, he left Warner Music and backed to London. Then he happened to see a television interview with Stelios Haji-Inoannou, the founder of one of the no-frills airlines, easyJet. He went easyJet's base airport next day, and considered if he could run business in Malaysia by using the same model as easyJet: to make money by flying people from England to Spain for 8 GBP.
Par. 4. How he started his firm 1. He approached GE Capital, a former head of Ryanair, and the prime minister of Malaysia. He got the right to take over an existing airline, a subsidiary of goverment-owned company.
Par. 5. How he started his firm 2. What the airline had was only old airclaft and debt. And three days after he got the firm, September 11th happened. He scraped together money by putting his own capitals and loans and investments from his acquaintances.
Par. 6. His philosophy toward the business. Regardless of scepticism, he convinced that Asia had potential market for low-cost airline because the area would be spared the worst of the economic downturn.
Par. 7. The consequences of his challenge. His conviction was proved by success of AirAsia and AirAsia x.
Par. 8. Current business environment in the field. ArAsia took its own line and kept competitive with rivals.
Par. 9. His current activity. He is proud for the firm's lack of hierarchy that means anyone can do anyone else's job. He practices what he preaches so that he sometimes took a role for baggage-handler, cabi crew, check-in-clerk, and even party organiser.