A meaningful award for AirAsia

A meaningful award for AirAsia
Soaring above the rest: Fernandes (centre, left) and AirAsia Indonesia CEO Sunu Widyatmoko (right) receiving the award for World’s Best Low Cost Carrier during an award ceremony at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.

PARIS - AirAsia Bhd group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes described the airline's award of "Asia and World's Best Low Cost Airline" for the seventh consecutive year as "most meaningful for him".

He said AirAsia had faced many challenges this past year.

"I'm proud to say that our staff banded together for our guests and we have emerged stronger than ever," Fernandes said during the Skytrax World's Airline Awards at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget on Tuesday.

"To be named the World's Best for the seventh consecutive year is an incredible honour and I dedicate this to the 17,000 AirAsia 'Allstars' who are the force behind it all," he said.

Thanking his guests and stakeholders for continuing to believe in AirAsia, Fernandes said, "After the year we had the QZ8501 crash, this award is the most meaningful for me."

That AirAsia Indonesia plane crashed as it was flying from Surabaya to Singapore last December.

AirAsia X, the long-haul affiliate of the AirAsia Group, was also recognised for having the World's Best Low Cost Airline Premium Cabin and Premium Seat for the second consecutive year.

Airasia X Bhd chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and acting chief executive officer Benyamin Ismail received the award.

Later at the launch of the Electronic Flight Folder (EFF), which allows pilots and co-pilots to do away with over 200kg of flight manuals, Fernandes said the airline was always looking for ways to push the "technological envelop".

"With the latest solutions offered by Airbus, we can reduce paper in the cockpit, enhance overall efficiency and ensure the most reliable flight operations," he said.

Under the system, AirAsia pilots would be issued with tablets uploaded with flight manuals in digital format.

Fernandes said AirAsia was also working with a seat manufacturer in London to come out with lighter seats.

"We also hope to install seats that are more ergonomical in our planes," he said, adding that this would make the fleet economical and fuel efficient.

AirAsia Bhd Group head of engineering Anaz Ahmad Tajuddin said by working with Mirus Aircraft Seating, it was trying to bring down the seats, which now weighed 12kg, to between 5kg and 7kg.

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