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AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes steps aside amid Airbus bribery probe

Christian Fernsby |
AirAsia’s chief executive Tony Fernandes has stepped aside from the company while authorities probe unusual payments.

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The shock decision came after Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) released details of a probe that found individuals associated with Airbus had paid to secure deals with AirAsia and its long haul unit AirAsia X.

Fernandes and executive chairman Kamarudin Meranun said in a statement late Monday: “We are relinquishing our executive roles with immediate effect for a period of two months, or such other period that the companies may deem fit.”

They added that they “categorically deny any and all allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct on our part as directors of AirAsia.

We would not harm the very companies that we spent our entire lives building up to their present global status.”

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