French award for AirAsia boss for contribution to aviation industry

PHOTO: French award for AirAsia boss for contribution to aviation industry

PARIS - AirAsia group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has been conferred with an award by the French government for his contribution to the Malaysian aviation industry and economy.

Fernandes received the Com­mander of the Legion d'Honneur award from French president Francois Hollande during a ceremony held at the Elysee Palace here yesterday.

The Malaysian corporate captain said it was truly an honour to be conferred the award, adding that he was "humbled" by the recognition.

"Aviation is an important industry that not only contributes to the economy of countries, but also provides jobs, connects communities and enhances livelihoods.

"As the group CEO of AirAsia, I am proud that we have positively contributed both directly and indirectly towards many people's lives," he said.

The Legion d'Honneur award was started by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to recognise outstanding service of individuals to France, with the Commander of the Legion d'Honneur being the highest rank of honour that the French government can award to a non-French citizen.

Fernandes was previously conferred the Officier of the Legion d'Honneur award by the French Government in 2010.

The AirAsia Group operates an all-Airbus fleet, which has contributed significantly towards French and European economies via the European-owned and Toulouse-based company.

It has firm orders of 475 Airbus A320s for AirAsia, and 25 Airbus A330-300 and 10 Airbus A350-900 for AirAsia X.