Thursday, April 03, 2008

Air asia best in innovation

By Biz Times

AIRASIA Bhd has been recognised as one of the world's most innovative companies by Fast Company magazine, the only Asean brand and the only airline to make it to the "Fast 50" list.

Other notable companies include Google, Nike, Facebook, Apple, Disney, GE, BMW and IBM.

AirAsia ranked number 43 this year on the "Fast 50" list, announced in the March 2008 issue of Fast Company.

From green consumer-products phenomenon Method to 100-year-old Corning, which spends US$2 million (RM6.38 million) each workday on R&D, the list celebrates companies that are redefining the rules of business through new ideas.

Twelve of the 50 firms are based outside the US. Fifteen of them are based in and around the Silicon Valley.

"This is a feat we are very proud of, considering we are placed in the same platform as some of the most recognised brands in the world. We are humbled by this news as we've evolved from a Malaysian brand to an Asean brand within a short span of six years and to be recognised on the global front by the coveted Fast Company magazine, is indeed very rewarding," AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said in a statement.

Fast Company editors described AirAsia as "innovative down to its corporate bones".

"Most passengers think of it as one carrier, but it's actually a co-branded collection of several, a unique structure Tony Fernandes devised to allow AirAsia to set up hubs in three countries (Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia)," it said.

It also credited AirAsia for operating costs that are the lowest of any airline in the world, and so are its fares.

Previous awards won by AirAsia include "Airline of the Year 2007" by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) and the "Best Low Cost Airline in Asia" by Skytrax Research of London.

Fast Company's final 50 were selected from a list of 300 finalist companies. The magazine placed a high premium on companies that had demonstrated significant innovation over the past year. Actual rankings were determined by vote by a panel of editors and writers.

Fast Company is a monthly business magazine that reports on innovation, digital media, technology, change management, leadership, design and social responsibility. It was launched in November 1995 by Alan Webber and Bill Taylor, two former Harvard Business Review editors.