Interview with Aireen Omar

Chief Executive OfficerAirAsia Berhad

"Cost is always a key priority. The cost structure has to be simple and easy to monitor. As a group operating in various countries in this region, we’re able to gain certain economies of scale that other airlines cannot."

"Trust is a key word here: you trust that you have employed the best people to help you with your expansion plan. When you have that trust and you delegate as much as you can, you give employees the freedom to be creative and reward them for it."

"There is so much growth and so many opportunities in this region that I think Asia is the place to be. And even though there are so many airlines wanting market share, I feel there is a lot of room in that market. I don’t see the growth ending any time soon."

"AirAsia Berhad is the most nimble organisation that I’ve ever been in. We work fast. We address a problem fast and I think that’s really down to the team effort and our clear vision of where we want to be."

"The whole idea is to be able to grow well organically. So, if strategic alliances make sense and if they add value to the whole Group, they are sure to be considered."

"Naturally, our customers ... are a big influence on us. They’re going to buy our product so we need to be able to understand them, to get the right kind of feedback, to be able to customise our service to their needs."

"...our own staff are one of our biggest stakeholders, because they need to believe in what they’re doing. They need to be passionate and entrepreneurial in how they do things because with good team effort you can achieve anything that you want to do."

"Social media has become of growing importance to our business in the sense that you get instant feedback on your product. It is the best way for you to market your product effectively and in a more cost efficient way."

"At AirAsia Berhad we hire people from all sorts of backgrounds, all sorts of different cultures. We understand and respect each other and at the same time it’s a way for us to share ideas and see what sits best for the whole company."


As part of PwC's 16th Annual Global CEO Survey, we spoke with Aireen Omar, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Berhad. In this short video, Aireen shares her insights on key stakeholders, achieving competitive advantage through the structure of the group, and effective management techniques.

Aireen Omar was appointed Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Berhad on 1 July 2012. Prior to her appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian operations, Aireen was the Regional Head of Corporate Finance, Treasury and Investor Relations at AirAsia Berhad. She joined AirAsia in January 2006 as Director of Corporate Finance. She started her career Deustche Bank Securities in New York. She moved back to Malaysia in 2001 to join Maybank Group where she originated, structured and executed debt securities, including Islamic securities. In 2003, she joined Bumiwerks Capital Management where she executed asset securitization, structured finance and project finance securities, including the issue of Malaysia's first residential mortgage-backed securities. Aireen holds an economics degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a masters in economics degree from New York University.
These interviews contain the opinions and views of the CEOs interviewed, and do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of PwC.


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