Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X
In July 2007, Azran was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X, the world’s pioneer low-cost long-haul airline. He led the start-up team that developed the business plan, raised capital, secured relevant licenses and approvals, acquired aircraft and launched AirAsia X’s inaugural flight to the Gold Coast, Australia in November 2007.
Despite a tumultuous period from 2008 to 2011 in global aviation, AirAsia X has expanded from one aircraft to fifteen, breaking the RM1 billion revenue mark in 2010, in its third full year of operations, and RM2 billion revenue in 2012. In July 2013, AirAsia X became a public-listed company with a market capitalization of RM3 billion (~US$1 billion), the first ever long-haul LCC airline to do so. It has carried about 10 million passengers since inception, an average 70% average annual growth rate.
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AirAsia X now flies to fifteen destinations across the Asia Pacific region breaking many long-haul airline conventions and pioneering various innovative services, including the world’s first LCC flatbed premium seats that won the 2013 World’s Best Low Cost Premium Seat award by Skytrax. Even with its nascent aircraft fleet, AirAsia X operates with the world’s lowest airline unit cost and the world’s highest aircraft utilization, while maintaining industry leading engineering reliability and on-time performance.
AirAsia X is an associate of AirAsia Berhad, largest low-cost airline in Asia. Through common shareholding, a long-term brand license agreement and shared services and resources, AirAsia X is able to capitalize on the strength of AirAsia’s global brand, unparalleled short-haul feeder network in Southeast Asia, and scale benefits from shared operations.
Based on its pioneering business model, AirAsia X has received tremendous international publicity, and has been recognized as the 2008 Best New Airline and jointly awarded the 2009 Airline of the Year award with AirAsia Berhad. It is also featured as the only Asian case study in ‘BOLD: How to be Brave in Business and Win’ by Shaun Smith.
Prior to his appointment, Azran was formerly the Senior Director of Business Development for Astro All Asia Networks plc, a leading Asian digital satellite television and radio broadcaster, where he led the start-up and operational launch of Astro’s international investments and joint ventures across Southeast Asia, India and Greater China having oversight management responsibility for a portfolio of over US$300 million invested in these businesses.
Azran was formerly an Associate Partner of McKinsey & Company, an international management consultancy, where he co-led its Southeast Asia Corporate Finance & Strategy practice.
He holds a Masters degree in Management Science and a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering, both from Stanford University. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia.
He was formerly on the Board of Directors of Tourism Malaysia. A prolific international speaker, he has been invited as one of the Young Leaders at the 2010 World Islamic Economic Forum and represented Malaysia as one of Asia Society’s 2009 Asia 21 Delegates. He is also a member of the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO).
He is 42 years young, a competitive Ultimate Frisbee player, a keen surfer and snowboarder, a 3:40 marathon runner and triathlete.