The French government has conferred Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia with the Commander of the Legion d’Honneur award, signifying Fernandes’s outstanding contributions towards the economy of France through the aviation industry.
Francois Hollande, President of France conferred the honourable award to Fernandes in a ceremony held yesterday at the Elysée Palace in Paris, France.
The Legion d’Honneur award was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to recognize outstanding service of individuals to France, and the Commander of the Legion d’Honneur is the highest rank of honour that the French government can award to a non-French citizen.
“It is truly an honour to be conferred the Commander of the Legion d’Honneur, and I am humbled with the recognition given by the government of France. Aviation is an important industry that not only contributes to the economy of countries, but also provides jobs, connects communities and enhances livelihoods. As the Group CEO of AirAsia, I am proud that we have positively contributed both directly and indirectly towards many peoples’ lives. This is great motivation for me to continue to steer the group to greater heights, and once again, I am grateful for this incredible honour,” said Tony Fernandes.
Fernandes was previously conferred the Officier of the Legion d'Honneur award by the French Government in 2010.
The AirAsia Group operates an all-Airbus fleet, with operations based in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. This has contributed significantly towards the French and European economies through the European-owned, and Toulouse-based Airbus, an EADS company; with firm orders of 475 Airbus A320s for AirAsia; and 25 Airbus A330-300, and 10 Airbus A350-900 for AirAsia X.
Tony Fernandes co-founded AirAsia and has led the airline in its transformation from a loss-making airline into a global brand today. Under his leadership, AirAsia has grown from two aircraft to 164 aircraft for both AirAsia and AirAsia X, and from 250 staff workforce to nearly 12,000 today.
AirAsia has also flown over 200 million guests in less than 12 years of operations, with an extensive route network that spans across 87 destinations throughout 22 countries.