Biography of Malaysian entrepreneur: Tony Fernandes
Tan Sri Anthony Francis Fernandes CBE (born 30 April 1964; also known as Tony Fernandes) is a Malaysian entrepreneur and the founder of Tune Air Sdn. Bhd., who introduced the first budget no-frills airline, AirAsia, to Malaysians with the tagline "Now everyone can fly". He has since founded the Tune Group of companies. In 2007, Tony Fernandes started a hotel chain, Tune Hotels, based on the no-frills concept. The first Tune Hotel was opened at the intersection of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Expansions are in the works as more hotels will be opened up throughout Malaysia. Another new Tune Hotel will be opening soon in Bali, Indonesia. As of 2009, Fernandes is also the president of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL). Fernandes has stated that it has always been a dream of his to be able to be involved with the development of sports in the ASEAN region. Fernandes is the team principal of the Caterham F1 Formula One team, which began racing in 2010 as Lotus Racing and raced in 2011 as Team Lotus. On 16 December 2009, Fernandes accepted a "challenge" from Richard Branson, a fellow airline boss and the owner of Lotus' fellow F1 newcomers Virgin Racing, where the losing team's boss should work on the winner's airline for a day dressed as a stewardess joking "The sexier the better. Our passengers will be delighted to be served by a Knight of the Realm, but knowing Richard, the real challenge will be to prevent him from asking our guests 'coffee, tea or me?' That would be scary." On top of this, the team also produced a poster depicting Branson in an Air Asia uniform. He rose to prominence by turning AirAsia, a failing government-linked commercial airline, into a highly successful budget airline public-listed company. Fernandes was also instrumental in lobbying the then-Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in mid-2003, to propose the idea of...
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