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Monday, 29 December 2014

Photos: AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes bought the airline for 50cents when it had just 2 aircraft #QZ8501

For any normal human 50 cents (Not 50 cents the rapper/singer) is worthless – for Tony Fernandes it was all he needed to buy his own airline.
When Fernandes bought AirAsia in 2001 from Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom for a single Malaysian ringgit – worth about 50 cents at the time – the carrier was in free fall and plunging deeper into debt by the day.
The Asian entrenprenuer bought Premier League football team Queens Park Rangers in 2011
But the flamboyant businessman built the small and failing company into a dominant player in south-east Asia with a low-cost model that focused on short and cheap flights. Some years later he started AirAsia X, which focused on long-haul flights.
His cavalier attitude in business and willingness to take a punt on an outside chance made his name. One of his most notable recently was when he bought Premier League football team Queens Park Rangers in 2011. He is currently their chairman and the team is sponsored by AirAsia. A minute's silence was observed at the start of Rangers' Premier League game against Crystal Palace on Sunday for those missing.
But the 50-year-old’s renowned self-belief will be severely tested after AirAsia flight QZ8501 between Surabaya, Indonesia and Singapore went missing with 137 adults, 17 children and one infant on board.
It’s a nightmare now, but he’d dreamed of operating his own budget airline since he was in school, he told the BBC in 2010. His motto, according to the AirAsia website, is: ‘Believe the unbelievable. Dream the impossible. Never take no for an answer.’
Fernandes’ career in business would seem to reflect this. He had a net worth of $US650 million ($A703.27 million) as of February, according to Forbes, which listed him as the 28th richest person in Malaysia.
The entrepreneur, who went to school at Epsom College in Surrey and later studied at the London School of Economics, made sure his first flight with the company – which had just two aircraft when he bought it – was one he was unable to take as a young boy.
AIrAsia CEO Tony Fernandes used a low-cost model that focused on short and cheap flights to make the airline a major player in south-east Asia
Mr Fernandes worked with fellow air tycoon Sir Richard Branson at Virgin Communications London in the late 1980s. They are now firm friends
Sir Richard Branson arrives at Kuala Lumpur dressed in an Air Asia flight attendant uniform and is handed a flight attendant graduation certificate by Mr Fernandes. The Virgin mogul had to do the stunt after losing a bet to Fernandes over a Formula One race 
Mr Fernandes' motto with AirAsia is: ‘Believe the unbelievable. Dream the impossible. Never take no for an answer.’

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