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Tony Fernandes Awarded CBE by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II

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Team Lotus Team Principal, AirAsia Group CEO and Malaysian entrepreneur, Tony Fernandes has been awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The citation says the award was conferred "for services to promote commercial and educational links" between the United Kingdom and Malaysia.

Fernandes, together with three partners, took over the loss-making AirAsia from a Malaysian government-linked company in December, 2001. In just over nine years under his leadership, AirAsia has soared to become one of Asia's largest low coat airlines.

In 2007, he founded sister airline AirAsia X, the low-cost, long-haul carrier. AirAsia X launched flights between Kuala Lumpur (LCCT, Sepang) and London (Stansted) in 2008. AirAsia X now flies to numerous destinations around the world.

In Formula One, Fernandes and his partners Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin have gained an army of fans around the world since launching their team in record time for the start of the 2010 F1 season. Now racing under the Team Lotus banner, they achieved their first year objective of winning the battle of the sport's new teams and are now taking the fight to the established midfield teams and continuing their march up the grid.

Not content with changing the aviation industry, Fernandes has also set about innovating the landscape in more terrestrial ventures. He is the founder of the Tune Group of companies, which hosts under its umbrella Tune Hotels (budget hotels, including one located in central London), Tune Talk (pre-paid mobile telephony) and Tune Money (insurance and finance). Fernandes was also the major mover and key partner in the effort to locate a campus of Britain's Epsom College in Malaysia. It is a venture close to his heart, as he was once a student at the boarding school in London.

Fernandes expressed delight at the news of the CBE, saying, "I'm grateful to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for the honour. It is a recognition of the hard work, determination and effort on the part of all my partners, colleagues and staff in AirAsia, Tune Group and Team Lotus. We have a terrific bunch of talented people working with us to make things happen in whatever venture we undertake. This is as much their award as it is mine."

The CBE is the second major award conferred on Fernandes in Europe. In 2010, the French government conferred upon him the title of Officier of the Legion dhonneur, the highest award for a non-French national, for his outstanding contributions to the aviation industry.

The man whose personal credo is "Dream the Impossible, Believe the Unbelievable and Never Take No for an Answer" believes deeply in providing opportunities throughout his businesses for talent to flourish, for meritocracy to reign and for helping people realise their dreams. "I realised mine, and I am determined to help others realise theirs, too," said Fernandes.

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