Career Guide

AirAsia turns dreams into reality by offering great opportunities

In late 2001, two gentlemen from the music industry decided to explore the aviation industry, which they knew nothing about at the time! So they purchased an ailing airline, rebranded it and transformed it into the world’s best low-cost airline.

Today, Tony Fernandes’ and Kamarudin Meranun’s AirAsia maintains and constantly builds on a route network covering 78 destinations and spanning 25 countries.

The awards keep rolling in for AirAsia, with its latest achievement being its recognition as the most popular employer amongst graduates in the leisure, travel and hospitality sector by Malaysia’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers.

“Indeed, it’s a great feeling to be up there again. We hope to replicate this success year-on-year. We are a company of growth and we also want successes like this to grow too,” says Wan Ezrin who is responsible for AirAsia’s group people strategy.


“AirAsia simply, is just a unique company to work for. It’s how we work, our attitude, passion, grit and determination that have led us to this win.

“We are a flat organisation and our culture is extremely strong. More importantly, everyone in the company knows what we are all about – ‘Now Everyone Can Fly’.

“Everyone is part of this, and they know how they fit in. We place high standards on safety, on performance, we make sure that we celebrate successes, and that’s what makes AirAsia a great company to work with,” says Ezrin.

But if we look closely, what is it about AirAsia that is so appealing to fresh graduates?

AirAsia can be described as a “perpetual startup”. Growth is an area that is greatly emphasised, and growth here means a myriad of opportunities for fresh graduates, eager to begin their career journey.

The company places little importance on an applicant’s personal background; what is required, though, is someone who is smart, a go-getter and a hard worker. AirAsia provides a wide range of opportunities for those who meet these requirements.


AirAsia has undoubtedly been highly successful from the outset. When it was bought over in 2001, it inherited a RM40mil debt.

Nevertheless, Fernandes incredibly turned the company around within a year and started making profit in 2002. Profits have grown greater and greater ever since.

From then on, the company’s success has been exponentially expanding, taking it into new territories, and developing new subsidiaries and ventures. AirAsia’s management attributes this phenomenal success to its people, culture and way of work.

Amazingly too, the structure of the organisation still somewhat resembles that of a small startup, albeit now having transformed into an ever-growing giant. The company is fluid and dynamic, changing its structure continuously to suit and adapt to the needs of the business.

AirAsia’s workforce covers the areas of operations (pilots, engineers and technicians, ramp services, operational control, operational training), hospitality and services (guest counter services, flight attendants, call centres, catering), commercial (marketing, merchandising, route revenues, ancillary income, social media, corporate and government sales, cargo) as well as other corporate services supporting these activities. These include route networking and regulation, IT, finance, people, quality, strategy, business development and more.

AirAsia has a workforce of about 13,000 people around the globe. In Malaysia specifically, the headcount is about 8,000 strong, including AirAsia X.

Approximately 5,000 people work in flight operations, 4,000 in ground operations and 1,500 in various engineering outfits across the group. With such a diverse range of opportunities, AirAsia has always proven to offer an exciting and rewarding career.

The airline’s vision, fittingly, is to be the largest low-cost airline in Asia. It is always finding ways to serve the 4.3 billion people currently bogged down by poor connectivity and expensive fares.

In other words, AirAsia wants to ensure that “Now Everyone Can Fly”; and essentially, the key driver to achieve this is taking care of its own people, as the airline aims to be the best company to work for, where employees are treated as family.

Those who join AirAsia are offered numerous opportunities to unleash their passion, drive and motivation, as well as the freedom to use their strengths to contribute to the company’s vision and goals whilst having a fulfilling career.

Career progression at AirAsia is in a league of its own. The company’s fluidity and its belief that anyone can achieve anything with the right attitude and effort allows its people to take their career to phenomenal heights.

“The three key basic ingredients for a great career in AirAsia would be the right personality, a fair amount intelligence and hard work,” shares Ezrin.

“Those who want to be specialists in specific areas are given that opportunity – for example, those who choose to become licensed aircraft engineers, route revenue experts or IT specialists.

“And of course, the usual vertical track is always there, where people grow into management roles. But what is interesting is the fact that we do have very radical, unconventional paths too.

“For example, a regular office admin chap with the drive and motivation can become a pilot of an Airbus A320 through amazing opportunities to train, just like our former flight attendant who was also a former Miss Universe Thailand. She is now a senior first officer with Thai AirAsia.

“Jumping from one career path to another is quite common in AirAsia, having people from engineering jumping to strategy or a senior flight attendant becoming a CEO. As long as people are willing to work hard, carry the right attitude and aptitude, they will fly high!”


Apart from taking great care of its people and clients, AirAsia also has the AirAsia Foundation. The foundation is about promoting the values of entrepreneurship, equal opportunity and innovation while at the same time aiming to build the Asean community as a whole.

“We believe our business itself is CSR. It’s about bringing people together and changing lives. We grow so fast that we create jobs and opportunities for people everywhere we fly to.

“We help struggling businesses thrive because of the affordability of our flights, we have strengthened family ties, and we have become pivotal in the economic revival and growth of the region because we allow people to easily fly there,” says Ezrin.

So, if you are humble, hardworking, ambitious, a team player and someone with great personality who loves change and fluidity and at the same time passionate about the job, get in touch with AirAsia to discover the variety of opportunities available for you.

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