15 April 2010
On Wednesday, AirAsia Group CEO Dato’ Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes was conferred the title of Officier of the Legion d’Honneur by the government of France for his outstanding contributions to the aviation industry.
Mr. Dominique Bussereau, Secretary of State for Transport of France, conferred the title on Tony in a ceremony held in Paris and attended by some of the biggest names in European business.
Officier of the Legion d’ Honneur is the highest rank of honor that the government of France can award to a non-French citizen. The Legion d’ Honneur was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to recognize outstanding service to France.
AirAsia has contributed largely to the French and European economies by supporting the European-owned and Toulouse-based Airbus, an EADS company. AirAsia has placed firm orders of Airbus aircraft including 175 A320, 25 A330 and 10 A350 aircraft. AirAsia also has an option to purchase 50 more A320 and five more A350 aircraft.
AirAsia uses Airbus aircraft extensively for its flights. It has an all-Airbus fleet for its Malaysia-based operations. Its Thailand and Indonesia-based operations will also have all-Airbus fleets within this year.
AirAsia, which has hubs in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, has democratized travel in the ASEAN region. It connects all 10 ASEAN capitals and more cities with “sky bridges”, linking and benefiting countless communities. By promoting travel in the region through low fares, an extensive network of destinations and great flight frequencies, it has helped the region achieve economic growth.
Tony Fernandes co-founded AirAsia and has led the airline in its transformation from a loss-making Malaysian airline into the ASEAN airline that it is now. AirAsia, Asia’s leading and largest low-cost carrier, also connects the ASEAN region with China, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Australia. Through its low-cost long-haul affiliate AirAsia X, it connects the region with more destinations in Asia (China, Taiwan and soon India), Australia and Europe (through the United Kingdom).