29 October 2009
BEIJING: Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes is now a legend of sorts — the AirAsia group chief executive officer was conferred the Capa (Centre for AsiaPacific Aviation) Legend Award for 2009, the youngest receipient so far.
To add another feather in his cap, the Malaysian low-cost carrier and its long-haul budget airline AirAsia X walked away with the prestigious Airline of the Year Award.
Fernandes said it felt “odd” to win the big individual award and joked that maybe the judges were giving him a signal that he should be on his way out of the industry.
“It’s a great honour for me and the company. I would be lying if I said I am not happy. You would be a legend only because of the people behind you,” he told The Star after the award presentation held here last night.
Fernandes said he was pleased that his fairy-tale success in introducing a budget carrier had given a lot of motivation to children and university students to believe in their dreams.
The Capa Legend Award (Aviation Hall of Fame) is given to outstanding individuals who bring about a revolutionary force in the aviation industry.
He said the award proved that Malaysian companies were capable and to win during a time of financial crisis meant even more for AirAsia.
Capa executive chairman Peter Harbison said Fernandes was the youngest inductee into the Hall of Fame, but his impact on Asia Pacific aviation had been profound.