Faudzil @ Ajak

Faudzil @ Ajak
Always think how to do things differently. - Faudzil Harun@Ajak

30 December 2014

AIRASIA QZ8501 PLANE CRASH - All eyes on Fernandes in QZ8501 crisis, says WSJ

All eyes on Fernandes in QZ8501 crisis, says WSJ

Published: December 30, 2014 12:19 PM

AirAsia CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes speaks at a news conference at the
Juanda International Airport, Surabaya. — Reuters pic 

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 ― Tan Sri Tony Fernandes’ response to the loss of Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 will determine the direction of the regional low-cost carrier’s business in days to come, the Wall Street Journal has said.

The business daily said Fernandes' hands-on approach in dealing with the disappearance of Flight QZ8501 has so far staved off the criticism faced by Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian government in their handling of the loss of flight MH370 in March this year, but noted that there is still much to be done.

It said the key challenge for the budget airline is to “head off any suggestion” that the disappearance of the Airbus A320 jetliner yesterday morning was in any way linked its low-cost business model.

AirAsia will also need to reassure investors, after its shares fell 12 per cent on opening on Bursa Malaysia on the first day of trading since the accident before paring their losses and closing at 8.5 per cent lower, WSJ added.

The New York-based daily noted that Fernandes’ prominence in the current crisis has parallels to what was done in 1982 by Johnson & Johnson chief executive James Burke, who successfully managed a crisis involving cyanide-tainted capsules of Tylenol that killed seven people in the US.

During that crisis, Burke personally appeared in television advertisements and news conferences to explain the company's decision to recall and destroy over 30 million capsules of the drug, and the company also introduced tamper-resistant packaging.

Analysts quoted by the WSJ noted that the ubiquity of Fernandes' personal brand on AirAsia means that he would play a major role in how the airline will emerge from this crisis.

“Tony is AirAsia, and AirAsia is Tony,” aviation analyst Shukor Yusof with Malaysia-based Endau Analytics was quoted as saying.

Indonesia AirAsia’s Flight QZ8501 disappeared from Jakarta’s radar at 6.18am local time Sunday amid stormy weather enroute to Singapore from Surabaya.

On board the Airbus A320 jet were 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, one Frenchman and one Briton, comprising 155 passengers and seven crew members.


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