AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes to delve into new role as podcast host next month

The podcast will feature conversations between Fernandes and his prominent friends and partners. — Picture by Choo Choy May
The podcast will feature conversations between Fernandes and his prominent friends and partners. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — AirAsia Group boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes will be adding a new feather to his cap next month with the launch of his podcast Talks With Tony.

The airline magnate has eight episodes lined up with a star-studded guest list, including Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White, and Grammy-winning producer and composer David Foster.

Fernandes said instead of focusing solely on his work with AirAsia, he hopes to use his podcast platform to trade life stories with his influential friends and cover issues that are important to him.

“Podcasting is a new way of connecting with people and sharing views but more importantly, I wanted to share my many experiences and thoughts with some great and many well-known friends and colleagues, who can add value and enrich people's lives.

“I want to give listeners an opportunity to learn a little bit from me and get up close and personal with my dear friends, discussing not just the successes but also the failures, even the problems everyone is going through now dealing with Covid-19.

“It's going to be with people from business, my friends from the sporting industry, and obviously music because it's been a large part of my life, as well as other prominent figures and entrepreneurs,” said Fernandes in a press release.

The first episode of ‘Talks With Tony’ will be available on the Syok app from August 1. — Picture courtesy of AirAsia
The first episode of ‘Talks With Tony’ will be available on the Syok app from August 1. — Picture courtesy of AirAsia

Fernandes also touched on the recent controversy surrounding AirAsia after its Thailand chief executive officer Tassapon Bijleveld cursed out a female employee in a virtual town hall meeting.

In a media roundtable yesterday, Fernandes said the incident has been a learning experience for him and that he will consider using his new platform to talk about the importance of creating a safe workplace environment.

“I used to take things for granted and that’s why I was in complete shock when (the incident with Bijleveld) happened.

“I’ve also seen women abusing women in the workplace, and one of the first things I was involved in at AirAsia was dealing with senior cabin crew bullying junior cabin crew.

“It was a culture brought over from another airline, and that was the first thing I dealt with 19 years ago.

“I’m learning every day and I never expected that incident to happen in AirAsia, but we’re taking the positives from it and we have to learn and be better.”

Talks With Tony will be available for free on the Syok app from August 1 and on the podcast’s official website from August 2.

Listeners can also tune in to the show on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and other podcast directories from August 8 onwards.

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