On a holiday, I was watching CNBC Europe yesterday and what CNBC had was a 15 minutes interview with Tony Fernandes. They were not just talking about Airasia and Airasia X as well as the challenges that his airlines are facing but also QPR.
What strikes me about the interview with Tony was that, unlike some other interviews, CNBC Europe was pre-empting viewers (for some 2 hours) that Tony was to be part of the show for the day which made me stayed on to watch. Like I said, it ended up as only a 15 minutes interview - maybe less even.
Now - let's think it over - Airasia is not even a part of Europe nowadays. It does not fly to Europe anymore. He is part owner of QPR and QPR is not even a Premier League team now. But what makes CNBC pre-empting its viewers for some 2 hours not letting us know at what time the interview was supposed to happen? Tony Fernandes is a big brand himself even in Europe.
One may or may not support Airasia - due to several things that it made to its consumers - like charging for almost anything, but as a Malaysian ain't we proud that we have someone like him?
How do we leverage on his brand? How does Malaysia support him rather fight him? We embraced lesser stars aren't we? - Jimmy Choo (whom does not own the Jimmy Choo brand anymore) and Michelle Yeoh and her husband (not a Malaysian), even.
I have been on local flights every week nowadays - and the thing that strikes me is that airfares price competition has gone to quite ridiculous stage. I like it, as it allows me to buy cheap flight tickets, but I also know that it probably will not last - got to enjoy it while I can.
While I know Airasia is one of the brands controlled by Malaysians and made it big by Malaysians is facing lots of challenges from the likes of Malindo and MAS - we know that the current situation will not last. We should not give in to Tony Fernandez and his group with a silver platter. He is a furious fighter. What Airasia has is scale, speed and sourcing. If Malaysia does not turn out well for Airasia, it has the ability to move beyond Malaysia. Not MAS.
But we are using taxpayers money (for MAS especially) to fight on something which you know MAS will lose without the support of government's money. Malindo is facing the same thing. I do not know who owns the 51% of Malindo (except that it is NADI - and who is behind NADI?) and I like the price competition but not the way it is fought.
We are just fighting a war which all will lose. Consumers win for now - but somehow or rather it is very short term. What we need is a major revamp in terms of cost structure for MAS, not giving extra privilege to Malindo whom is allowed landing in Subang but not Airasia. Not the way the war is fought currently.
You can watch his interview with CNBC Europe here.