Aireen Omar new CEO of Air Asia malaysia 1st July 2012

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SEPANG: Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd said today it had appointed Aireen Omar to head its local operations as the founder of Asia’s largest budget carrier Tony Fernandes moves to Indonesia to oversee its regional expansion plans.

Prior to the appointment, Aireen was AirAsia’s regional head of coporate finance and treasury. She will assume her new post on July 1 and report directly to Fernandes, now CEO for the  AirAsia group, who confirmed he was moving to Jakarta.

“During the credit crisis, Aireen kept AirAsia ahead of the curve,” AirAsia co-founder Kamarudin Meranun told reporters at the budget carrier’s headquarters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang.

“While other companies fell into trouble securing any financing at all, Aireen was able to lock up financing at very competitive rates for two years for the purchase of aircraft for Airasia.”

Bernama reported that Aireen Omar aims to maintain 60 per cent domestic market share.

“I know I have a big shoe to fill and I am confident to keep the target alive. Everyone can fly not only now but forever.

“We have 60 per cent domestic and 40 per cent international market share. We intend to maintain that and grow it,” she told reporters after being named AirAsia’s chief executive officer for Malaysia’s operations.

Aireen said AirAsia Malaysia would continue to be creative and innovative.

She said maintaining market leadership, cost discipline and increasing revenue would be among the main challenges helming the post. -Reuters (Bernama)