12th May 2010 College Governor awarded top French honour

OE and current College Governor Tony Fernandes has been made an Officier de la Légion d\’ Honneur, the highest rank of honour the French government can bestow on a non-French citizen.

The award, which was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to recognise outstanding service to France, was made for Tony\’s contribution to the aviation industry and to the French and European economies in his role as co-founder and CEO of Malaysian airline AirAsia, which has been a strong supporter of the European-owned, Toulouse-based aircraft manufacturer Airbus Industrie.

AirAsia uses an all-Airbus fleet for its Malaysia-based operations and expects its Thai and Indonesia-based operations to have all-Airbus fleets within the year. In the eight years that Tony Fernandes has been at its helm, AirAsia has placed orders valued at more than US$10 billion for 175 A320, 25 A330 and 10 A350 Airbus aircraft, with options for 50 more A320s and five more A350s.

French Secretary of State for Transport Dominique Bussereau conferred the title on Tony at a ceremony in Paris last month attended by some of the leading names in European business.

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