What Tony Fernandes Had To Say After Being Listed In TIME's 100 Most Influential

After learning that AirAsia Flight 8501 had gone missing, Tony Fernandes acted as a friend, father and son to families whose darkest days were not done.

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TIME Magazine has listed AirAsia Group CEO and co-founder Tony Fernandes in its list of the 100 'Most Influential People' in the world

Virgin Group's founder Richard Branson profiled Tony, saying:

"After learning that AirAsia Flight 8501 had gone missing, Tony Fernandes stilled the chaos by being himself—a family man and a business leader. He guided his company and employees through the horror. As AirAsia continued to serve its passengers, Tony acted as a friend, father and son to families whose darkest days were not done.

The end of every journey is home. With his strength, candor and compassion, Tony helps get AirAsia’s passengers home every day. And he continues to lead a company that has earned the trust of travelers."

In response to the news, the AirAsia co-founder said in a statement today that it was a tremendous honour to be included in the top 100 list, adding that he was initially shocked upon hearing the news

“It’s a tremendous honour to be included in TIME’S top 100 list – I was shocked when I first received the news but I am very proud and humbled.

“I also want to thank my staff across all of my businesses in AirAsia, Tune Group, QPR and Caterham for standing by me through it all, for the tremendous support and hard work. Together, we will continue to disrupt the market.

“This has been a challenging year but my entire career has been about challenges and with every obstacle, we learn and become even better. I believe we are making forward strides and I am excited about the future,” said Tony in a statement.

Despite a challenging 2014 with the crash of AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 in December, Tony said he is refocusing his attention on the core business starting with AirAsia, Astro AWANI reported

“We are committed to strengthening our core proposition of providing the highest value product and further expanding our network across Asean and beyond.

“We have always been about serving the under-served, whether it be through our services and product or giving chances to our staff where we have pilots who used to be purchasing assistants, department heads who started as baggage handlers and flight attendants who used to be administrative assistants,” he said.

"There are no shortcuts for success"

When asked on his message to others out there who hoped to be as successful as him, Fernandes said there were no shortcuts. "I am not successful. But there are no short cuts. Work hard. Drama hard. Never take no for an answer,” he added.

AirAsia has been named the World's Best Low Cost Airline in the annual World Airline Survey by Skytrax for six consecutive years starting 2009. In the last 13 years, it has carried over 280 million passengers and now boasts of over 190 aircraft from just two.

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes is CEO and co-founder of AirAsia, the largest low-cost carrier in Asia.

Image via Reuters