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AirAsia Aviation Group introduces new leadership team 

SEPANG, Malaysia — As AirAsia prepares to embark on its next phase of growth, the airline announces two key leadership appointments: Datuk Captain Chester Voo as deputy group chief executive officer (Airline Operations) and Farouk Kamal as deputy group CEO (Corporate). Both executives will play pivotal roles in shaping the future of the airline group.

Datuk Captain Chester Voo will lead the airline operations to optimize and enhance efficiencies across core airline functions, as well as identify and mitigate potential risks to improve the airline’s overall performance. 

With a proven track record in the airline industry, including over 11 years with AirAsia, he brings a wealth of experience to the role, especially as a previous CEO of the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).

Farouk will be responsible for corporate functions – encompassing Finance, Corporate Finance, Aircraft Leasing, Legal, Investor Relations, and Strategy. He will also provide oversight on Internal Audit and Risk Management for the Aviation Group. 

Farouk joined the airline from Urusharta Jamaah, a Government Linked Investment Company (GLIC), where he served as CEO and chief investment officer. He also worked in investment banking with Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan, and Credit Suisse. He was also previously a board member of AirAsia X.

Bo Lingam, Group CEO of AirAsia Aviation Group said: “As we enter a new era, these leadership appointments signify a significant milestone in the airline’s evolution, steering AirAsia through an era of digital transformation, innovation, and sustainable growth. Both of their combined efforts will allow us to continue our dedicated focus on our strategic decision-making, long-term planning, and overall organizational direction for the group. The synergy between the seasoned leaders and the existing team is expected to fuel further innovation and drive us toward continued success. I am confident that both Captain Chester and Farouk’s invaluable experience, within and outside of AirAsia, will be great assets to achieve our short, medium, and long-term goals.”

Voo said: “I am honored to take on this role at a critical juncture in AirAsia’s journey. The focus on efficiency, risk mitigation, and performance improvement will be instrumental in navigating the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as we shape the future of AirAsia Aviation Group. The aviation industry is evolving rapidly, and I am excited to lead the charge in ensuring that AirAsia continues to set new benchmarks across all that we do.”

Meanwhile, Farouk added: “As AirAsia embarks on this new phase of growth, the corporate function plays a crucial role in the overall strategy and success of the airline. By aligning them with the broader goals and vision of the group, we will implement strategies that contribute not only to the company’s financial success but also to its reputation for excellence and innovation. It is an exciting journey, and I look forward to contributing to the continued growth of AirAsia in ASEAN and beyond.”

In the anticipated outlook for AirAsia in 2024, the group is actively working towards the full restoration of its fleet. It looks forward to the reactivation of 191 aircraft by the end of the first quarter this year, with 166 already in operation. Demonstrating a strong recovery trajectory, the group expects its capacity to rebound to 83% of pre-pandemic levels by the close of 1Q2024 and to continue to grow in the future.


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