AirAsia Appoints New North Asia President

14th Jun 2016

Malaysian-based low-cost carrier AirAsia has announced the appointment of Kathleen Tan as its new president for operations in North Asia. Tan will be responsible for building AirAsia brand in China, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Macau markets.

Tan is a Former AirAsiaExpedia CEO and Former Head of Commercial and Senior VP of China

Before coming to her new function, Tan was chief executive officer of AirAsiaExpedia. She worked eight months there, turning the loss-making joint venture around in her second year there and recording a net profit of US$20 million.

During Tan’s tenure at AirAsiaExpedia, the joint venture won a number of regional awards, including Gold for the Expedia tablet app, Bronze for Best Use of Social Platform by Expedia Singapore, Best Asia Pacific Online Travel Agency Website by TravelMole and Best App/Content By A Consumer Brand By AirAsiaGo from Mobile Marketing Excellence.

Prior to AirAsiaExpedia, Tan was also regional head of commercial and senior vice president of China at AirAsia between 2004 and 2013.

Tony Fernandes Welcomed Tan to Her New Job

AirAsia Group President Tony Fernandes said the following about Tan’s promotion:

A bold, dynamic business leader and self-proclaimed ‘disruptor’, Tan accelerated growth especially in key markets such as Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, establishing AirAsiaExpedia as a major player in North Asia.

Mr Fernandes also added:

She made sure we were the first low-cost carrier to fly to China and built a strong network of 14 hubs there. Today, China contributes nearly 40 per cent of our revenue but there is still a lot to do in North Asia. It is an important long-haul market that will take on greater significance once AirAsia Japan launches and I couldn’t think of anyone more suited than Kathleen to drive our business there.

During her time in AirAsia, the fleet grew from only 17 aircraft that the LCC had available in 2004, to 143 that it has now. In addition, AirAsia also won a number of coveted awards, including World’s Best Low Cost Airline by Skytrax. Finally, the airline’s revenue surged about 14-times to more than RM5 billion today.

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