1. 1The Leadership Style of Tony Fernandes The leadership style of Tony Fernandes is not very clear as sometimes we see him as an autocratic leader. He instructed his staff to get things done. As an example he wanted to install the mechanism for the handicap people at zero cost. He did not discuss with anyone, his instruction was executed.
He can be also considered as a democratic leader, when once he said during an interview “We have grown AirAsia together, with everybody pitching in with ideas, actively finding new ways to increase efficiency, improving services by effectively combining technology and the personal touch, and aggressively and smartly marketing our brand,” through this activity of brainstorming. As an example he decided to expand his route network in 2007. He launched Air Asia X the world’s only low-cost, long-haul airline.
He wants Air Asia X to fly to several cities in Australia, China, Middle East and London. Tony’s idea is to link the three continents of Australia, Asia and Europe at fares that are a fraction of that charged by traditional legacy carriers. He is also a situational leader. Tony makes decision according to the pressing situation of that present moment. It may not be something which he likes but he makes the decision because the situation forces him to exercise his leadership qualities. For example the recent Iceland Volcano incident in London.
The passengers of Malaysian Airlines (MAS) were stranded in London and MAS refuse to fly back to Kuala Lumpur. Tony extended free transport for all standard passengers and made a great impact in his role as a business leader. He is also a charismatic CEO. His favorite term is “better value”. If Tony becomes possible to own the concept outright then he wants it. For example he offers crazy cheap airfares or even free seats in good start. Tony believes the fist of Air Asia’s biggest strengths is marketing. He owns the idea of valuing customer’s minds, particularly when they feel less inclined to spend.