Flying high: How Malaysia's AirAsia became the world's best low-cost carrier

Low Lai Chow and Anna Hamill

Maintaining a strong, positive brand in Asia is at the heart of every decision low cost carrier AirAsia makes - even when training its employees. This philosophy has been key to the success of the airline, believes AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes.

AirAsia is one of Asia's most recognised brands, flying to 100 destinations across the region. The airline has won the World's Best Low Cost Carrier award from Skytrax seven years running. But it wasn't always this way.

When Fernandes bought the indebted Malaysian airline for just US$0.26 (1 Malaysian Ringgit) in late 2001, it had only two planes and was heavily indebted.

At the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) annual conference, Fernandes shared insights from his 14 years with AirAsia, and how the Kuala Lumpur-based company transformed from a beleaguered airline into a South East Asian brand triumph with 17,000 employees.

1. Build an internal brand: every employee is a brand ambassador