Past Event: Stanford GSB Chapter of Hong Kong

Evening Reception, Thursday, 27 March 2014
Speaker Series:
AirAsia X Berhad

Think Different: How AirAsia X is Breaking the Aviation Status Quo and Creating New Markets in Long-Haul Budget Travel
18:30 pm to 20:30 pm (remarks begin at 19:00, followed by Q&A)
Club Lusitano, 24th floor, 16 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong
Pre-registration by Wednesday midnight, 26 March 2014 is requested. The cost is HKD 400 per person for advance registration (click here) and HKD 500 if paid at the door (in CASH) and/or registered after the deadline. Please bring exact change as no change will be provided at the event.

Event Details:
The Stanford GSB Chapter of Hong Kong is pleased to invite you to an evening cocktail, canapés and discussion with Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia X’s CEO (and Stanford alumnus), the budget long-haul airline founded by AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes with Virgin Airlines’ Sir Richard Branson, Air Canada and Orix of Japan being significant shareholders.

AirAsia X was founded in 2007 with the ground-breaking intention of taking AirAsia’s successful budget model to the medium and long-haul market – creating the first multi-hub, global low-cost carrier - a long-standing and elusive goal of the industry for more than 40 years. Indeed, AiraAsia X’s first plane was named “Spirit of Sir Freddie” (Semangat Sir Freddie), in honor of Sir Freddie Laker, whose pioneering London-New York Skytrain pioneered modern budget air travel.

Yet where Sir Freddie failed (going bankrupt), Air Asia has thrived – though the path has not been without its challenges. Air service was launched in 2011 for five cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Osaka, Jeddah, Istanbul and Sydney.  By January 2012, with fuel prices near all-time highs, services were withdrawn from Delhi, Mumbai, London and Paris, with service to Tehran was dropped in 2012 due to particularly challenging economic conditions.

Despite a tumultuous period from 2008 to 2011 in global aviation, AirAsia X has expanded from 1 aircraft to 20, breaking RM2 billion revenue in 2012, its 5th year of operations. In July 2013, AirAsia X became a public-listed company with a market capitalization of RM3 billion (roughly US$1 billion), the first ever long-haul LCC airline to do so. To date, it has carried over 10 million passengers, achieving an average 70% average annual growth rate. The airline has achieved the lowest airline unit cost base and highest aircraft utilization of any airline in the world, offering fares 30% to 50% below traditional full-service airlines and stimulating new market demand – often by as much as 90% - by offering routes to previously underserved markets and leveraging its sister airline AirAsia’s global brand, short-haul feeder network shared operations.  Today, AirAsia X flies to eighteen destinations across the Asia Pacific region offeringthe world’s first LCC flatbed premium seats that won the 2013 World’s Best Low Cost Premium Seat award by Skytrax.  It is also featured as the only Asian case study in ‘BOLD: How to be Brave in Business and Win’ by Shaun Smith.

Speaker's Bio: Azran Osman-Rani
Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia X Berhad

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 first inaugural flight to the Gold Coast, Australia in November 2007.

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 is a Non-Executive Board member of PT XL Axiata in Indonesia,and 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 an Ironman triathlete.