President of China, North Asia,
Ms Kathleen Tan is widely credited for making AirAsia a financial success and global brand. During her tenure as AirAsia’s regional head of commercial and senior vice president of China from 2004 to 2013, fleet size increased from 17 to 143 aircraft, revenue surged 14-fold to over RM5 billion and the carrier secured the first of many Skytrax World’s Best Low-Cost Airline awards. As an innovator, Ms Tan has championed a wide array of ancillary and partner products as well as marketing campaigns, such as introducing AirAsia’s signature seats promotion by giving away one million discounted seats in 2005.
Ms Tan then helmed AirAsia Expedia, turning around the loss-making joint venture and making it North Asia’s best online travel agent. She now focuses on building AirAsia’s market in Greater China. Ms Tan has received numerous accolades, including Industry’s Most Influential Person by China Finance Summit and Global Top 50 Marketer by travel site Skift. She was also dubbed an “Aviation Legend” by Chinese search engine Baidu.