TONY FERNANDES Air Asia

AirAsia

Tony Fernandes

CEO and Cofounder, AirAsia

AirAsia, the budget flyer founded by Tony Fernandes, has been disrupting Asia’s skies since it began operations in 1996, with no shortage of success. The Malaysian company was last year named the world’s best low-cost airline at the World Airline Awards, the 11th consecutive year it picked up the award.

Known as a global industry innovator, Fernandes has more recently been focused on expanding AirAsia’s businesses into new areas.

One such move has been to transform Teleport, its cargo and logistics division, into a major Southeast Asian e-commerce transportation provider. Teleport's growth during the recent downturn in air travel has been one of the silver linings of the pandemic for the AirAsia Group, growing 49% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020.

Because of the nearly full-on hibernation of the airline group since late March, Teleport this year pivoted from delivering cross-border e-commerce provisions to last-mile deliveries, transporting more parcels, restaurant orders, as well as fresh produce during the lockdown period than in the previous 12 months collectively.

“I have always believed that you have to keep renewing yourself and evolve to meet changing consumer demand,” Fernandes tells Business Insider. “You are only ever as good as tomorrow. We are taking travel to another level, not only in the air but also on the ground, by giving our customers a truly integrated end-to-end experience.”