AirAsia flies more than 500 million passenger in 16 years

BANGKOK (Sin Chew Daily/ANN) - AirAsia has achieved another milestone by flying more than 500 million passengers in 16 years of operation. 

 Air Asia achieves another milestone in its 16th anniversary by flying more than 500 million passengers so far.The figure is equivalent to half of China’s population. Its next target is to achieve 1 billion passenger within shortest span of time. 

Tony Fernandes, chief executive officer of Air Asia, said the milestone achieved is amazing as the number is equivalent to 13 to 14 fold of population in Malaysia, which is also half of China’s population.The next target of AirAsia is to achieve 1 billion passengers within the shortest time frame by continuing to connect more Asians.

‘‘My ultimate dream is to connect to Europe and even Africa for AirAsia X to fly to each continent in the world,’’ he said.AirAsia also invited the 500 millionth guest, Dr Panut Oprasertsawat, 34, a Thai national, to join the 16th anniversary. He took an AirAsia flight from Phuket to Bangkok on 18 March.

Apart from receiving 3 million points of flight mileage and vidi travel plan vouchers worth 50,000 of Thai Bhat, Fernandes upgraded the awards to lifetime AirAsia free tickets for Oprasertsawat and his spouse. On the other hand, when asked about the management skill of how AirAsia pooled 22,000 staff, Fernandes said : “I have never thought about how did I pool all workers together. But we did it. I think it should be a transparent and fair system and the culture of AirAsia.”

AirAsia staff come from many countries but Fernandes said he did not bother about race, skin colour, gender and age gap but insisted on an “AirAsia culture. In fact the AirAsia culture started in Malaysia. We respect the religion and ethnicity of each staff and never distinguish them as Chinese, Malay or Indians. Such concept and culture also extend to AirAsia in countries such as Singapore, Thailand and others. We do not call them Thai AirAsia or Indonesian AirAsia but AirAsia. So in the top management of AirAsia, we have people from Jakarta, Thailand and Malaysians.”

Fernandes said the plan to develop flight routes in Myanmar with a partner has been terminated.In March, during an interview with a foreign media, he had revealed that AirAsia would be working with a potential partner to develop flight routes in Myanmar. The plan would help to upgrade AirAsia’s market share in Southeast Asia to 95%.