AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes Talks Digital Transformation in Exclusive Skift Interview

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AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes was ready to take on the skeptics about the company’s recent switch to a “digital lifestyle company, anchored on travel,” and the doubters sound all too-familiar to him.“Every airline rubbished us,” Fernandes told Skift in a one-on-one interview on Monday, recalling his purchase of AirAsia for less than $1 nearly two decades ago. “Everyone laughed at us. Who are these twits from the music business? I’m sure the digital guys are saying, who are these twits from the airline business. Time will tell.”Fernandes touted the purported digital DNA of AirAsia, which he said was the first carrier in Asia to sell flight tickets online.“So we are not virgins at this digital thing,” Fernandes said.Monday was a notable day for AirAsia. After launching the AirAsia.com app as “Asean’s super app” last week and giving AirAsia.com its first tagline, “For everyone,” the company offered “storewide discounts” on most of its products.By mid-afternoon, after about three hours of the sale, Fernandes, who’d just returned from the Malaysian Ministry of Finance after participating in loan discussions, which he said were “progressing well,” tallied about 1,000 food delivery, and 400 fresh food …

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