AirAsia co-founders to take more control of budget carrier to cut costs
By Niluksi Koswanage
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - The co-founders of Malaysia's AirAsia Bhd AIRA.KL said on Wednesday they will take more control of running Asia's largest budget carrier by passenger volume and push on with cutting costs that have been a drag on profit.
Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun, who started up AirAsia in 1993, had shifted their base to Indonesia and set up a regional office to focus on spearheading the company's expansion in Southeast Asia and further afield.
They will mow move the regional office and merge its functions with Kuala Lumpur-listed AirAsia's head office to "simplify operations" in a company where net profit has tumbled 62 percent in the second quarter ended June.
"Kamarudin and I will be more involved in the operations of AirAsia Bhd as we continue our growth in the region and we will continue to focus on reducing costs," Fernandes said in a company statement.
"AirAsia has been on a cost-reduction drive, which has seen good success in the third quarter and will continue in the fourth quarter," he added.
AirAsia will report third quarter earnings on the week of Nov 18.
Fernandes will be re-designated as AirAsia Group CEO and will be tasked with driving brand value, cutting costs and driving efficiencies of AirAsia and its affiliates in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and soon to be India. Continued...