Tony Fernandes steps down as AAX CEO

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has stepped down as the acting group chief executive officer (CEO) with immediate effect, citing other commitments.

Fernandes was appointed to the position in July this year, in addition to his position as a non-independent non-executive director of AAX.

Fernandes said he went in with a clear mandate to restart AAX and bring it back to life from hibernation.

"I am happy that this has been accomplished with a very edifying plan for 20 aircraft for the AAX Group—13 aircraft for AAX and seven for Thai AAX (TAAX).

"After the excellent job led by Lim Kian Onn on the restructuring, my job was to bring the airline back to profitability and growth."

"We have improved the cost structure and created the cargo business, which has contributed about 20 per cent of the airline's revenue during the pandemic and will continue to play a vital role in the recovery of AAX," he said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, AAX said Tunku Datuk Mahmood Fawzy would be appointed as the independent non-executive director of Thai AirAsia X (TAAX), effective immediately.

He will focus on overseeing the strategic direction and driving sustainable growth for the medium-haul airline group—AAX and TAAX. 

I am thrilled to join the TAAX board of directors as the group embarks on our new growth phase as a predominantly mid-range airline.

"Our strategy is to focus on flying our most popular and profitable medium-haul routes first, which have proven to be successful in the past, including leveraging cargo operations in key markets," Tunku Mahmood Fawzy said.

It was reported on October 29 that the low-cost long-haul affiliate of AirAsia Group Bhd has slipped into a Practice Note 17 (PN17) company after its external auditor, Messrs Ernst & Young PLT (EY), expressed a disclaimer of opinion on its audited financial statements for the 18-month financial period ended June 30, 2021.

This follows the lapse of an extension of time granted by Bursa Securities on October 26 for AAX to complete the implementation of its corporate exercises announced in May last year.

This entails raising up to RM116 million via a one-for-one rights offering, together with a special issuance to raise RM50 million.

On October 12, AAX submitted an application to Bursa Malaysia for an extended time of six months, up to April 18, 2023, to submit its regularisation plan to the Securities Commission or Bursa Malaysia.

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