AirAsia’s Dato’ Tony Fernandes Promises To Resolve Problems Faced By Disabled Persons

The Barrier-Free Environment and Accessible Transport Group (BEAT) met with AirAsia Group Chief Executive Office Dato’ Tony Fernandes this morning. 16 representatives from various NGOs attended the meeting that resulted from the protest at LCCT-KLIA. From the word go, Datuk Fernandes informed us of his airline’s plans to remove many of the barriers and conditions that are preventing disabled persons from flying with AirAsia.

Group photo of BEAT members with AirAsia GCEO Dato' Tony Fernandes
Group photo of BEAT members with AirAsia GCEO Dato’ Tony Fernandes.

For starters, AirAsia has agreed to purchase 2 ambulifts – one for LCCT-KLIA and the other for Kota Kinabalu Airport. No charges will be imposed for the use of the ambulifts. All aircrafts will be equipped with aisle chairs. Toilets will be equipped with handle bars for people who need to use it.

AirAsia GCEO Dato' Tony Fernandes presenting the cap to BEAT Coordinator Christine Lee
AirAsia GCEO Dato’ Tony Fernandes presenting the cap to BEAT Coordinator Christine Lee.

Representatives from BEAT were invited to sit in an advisory panel within AirAsia to give recommendations on issues relating to the handling of disabled passengers and acquisitions of equipment for such purposes, and also to provide training for airline staff assisting disabled persons.

The cap that AirAsia GCEO Dato' Tony Fernandes sealed his commitment to resolved issue brought forward by BEAT
The cap that AirAsia GCEO Dato’ Tony Fernandes sealed his commitment to
resolve issue brought forward by BEAT.

Overall, BEAT members were optimistic that we will be able to see changes in how AirAsia deals with disabled persons soon. I played the devil’s advocate and told Dato’ Fernandes that I was sceptical and is still sceptical if issues will be resolved soon until I see the end results.

Assistant BEAT Coordinator Peter Tan with AirAsia GCEO Datuk Tony Fernandes
Assistant BEAT Coordinator Peter Tan with AirAsia GCEO Dato’ Tony Fernandes.

This was because of the bad experiences with RapidKL who made promises that were never delivered and also the empty assurances given by various ministers to resolve the issues that we are facing. Nevertheless, his sincerity in coming to meet us personally was a first positive step.

AirAsia GCEO Dato' Tony Fernandes poses sportingly with Grace holding one of the banners that was used during the protest at LCCT-KLIA
Dato’ Tony Fernandes poses sportingly with Grace holding one of the banners
that was used during the protest at LCCT-KLIA.

To show his personal commitment that he will work towards sorting out the problems that disabled persons are facing with AirAsia, Dato’ Fernandes autographed the cap that he was wearing and presented it to BEAT Coordinator Christine Lee. The meeting ended in a jovial note. BEAT looks forward to seeing Dato’ Fernandes fulfilling all the promises that he made to us this morning.

Read also:
AirAsia Still Practices Discrimination Against Disabled People
AirAsia, BEAT And What Disabled People Really Need

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Minion to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. Columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. Principal Trainer at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

10 thoughts on “AirAsia’s Dato’ Tony Fernandes Promises To Resolve Problems Faced By Disabled Persons”

  1. that’s a great result. hope that air asia will live up their promise if not their rep will be really tarnished. go beat!

    Peter:
    Go BEAT!!! 😀

  2. hey pete, let’s hope this dato is the knight in shining armor riding a shinny airbus 737 among all others datos….

    Peter:
    Hey Terence, Air Asia is moving towards Airbus 320, if their entire fleet is not already so. Yes, lets hope something positive come out of this.

  3. Hi! Peter
    It was kind of Dato Fernandez to make time to meet with the BEAT Group. It is a worthwhile course and however extra time it might take to get disable people into a plane, it all adds up to profit. More passengers mean more income for the airlines and more freedom for the disable people to travel. So, let us just give Dato Fernandez a bit of time to address this issue to his company and let us hope that he does deliver what he preaches. Thank you Dato Fernandez.

    Peter:
    The little more time that disabled persons need to board a plane should not be seen as a delay but as a part of life. We do get delayed every now and then by situations beyond our control. By agreeing to look into the problems faced by disabled persons and resolve it Dato Fernandez has lead the way to show corporate Malaysia that you can make money and be caring at the same time too.

  4. Hey man, you’ve just taken photo with my idol! He is so down to earth, isn’t he?

    Peter:
    Yes, very down to earth. 😀

  5. Peter- this is what I call making a difference. BEAT is indeed making a difference.

    Peter:
    At BEAT we try to make a difference so that everyone, not only disabled persons, can enjoy equality in society.

  6. i guess i have been abit too harsh on AA. But i can only hope all the promises made will be materialised in no time. thank you.

    Peter:
    Your strong language previously was not out of place. It was frustration that lead us to protest at the LCCT too. Lets hope that things will be better soon for those of us who need to fly.

  7. well since i met with Dato Tony is very kind,humble and the gem of person who is realy show the world how people can reach the goal with their hardworking and able to lead the community.Thank you Dato,your good action makes everyone loves you!!!!

    Peter:
    🙂

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