Tuesday, 18 March 2008: Eyes firmly on the prize, Datuk Tony Fernandes has high hopes for the future of the AirAsia brand.
Instrumental in the development of the low-cost airline, Fernandes has chosen to set the benchmark for AirAsia at colossal highs, aiming to equalise with marketing giant, Coca-Cola, and 2007 Airline of the Year, Singapore Airlines.
Within 6 years, Fernandes aims for AirAsia to be adorning billboards and banners, watches and football stadiums.
As the group CEO of AirAsia, Fernandes recently told StarBiz that he “would like the AirAsia brand to be as big as Coca-Cola.”
“We can be, and it is my goal that we, AirAsia, become bigger than Singapore Airlines and carry more passengers.”
Indeed, AirAsia’s entry into the Singapore market was unforseen, and has provided new connections for Malaysia and Singapore.
Fernandes affirms his brand power, as “Even before AirAsia can fly to Europe, it was already flying Europeans and other nationalities around Asia.” “That just goes to show that our brand is spreading all over.”
In a bid to grow as large as Europe’s leading low-cost airline, RyanAir, Air Asia has ordered 175 new aircraft in hope of expanding its 90 routes and 47 destinations.
AirAsia X, the long-haul sister company to Air Asia, commenced flying last November, initially to Australia’s Gold Coast and now also providing services to Hangzhou.
Fernandes promises new routes and destinations for both companies, adding that “We will fly to Amritsar and London soon.”
AirAsia has been marketed through low cost fares, giveaway seats, and online booking which provides access to remote locations, the Malaysia Star reports.
Fernandes continues, claiming “AirAsia is a strong brand and an airline that has managed to create a market for itself.”
“It has gone beyond Malaysia’s borders and would continue to carry the Malaysian flag to more countries.”
AirAsia has had many early successes. But to become as synonymous with travel as Coca Cola is with beverages is an immense task for any marketing team.