AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes probably rubbed more than a few people the wrong way when he showed off his brand new Tesla Model Y to his 350k followers on Instagram.
The CEO captioned his post about going green, moving away from petrol-powered vehicles and his love for his new electric car.
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While some congratulated him on the shiny new vehicle he gifted to himself for Merdeka, many were equally triggered by this flex.
Netizens felt that since the 57-year-old could afford the high-tech car – which costs roughly $55,190 (RM229,315) – he should be able to settle outstanding refunds for AirAsia customers and avoid delaying staff salaries, as reported on Coconuts KL.
Since last year, AirAsia has laid off more than 2,400 employees, including pilots and cabin crew. Hundreds more had to undergo retraining and were relocated to other departments in the company.
According to Rakyat Post, there is still an estimate of 450,000 customers waiting for their refunds.
Since Covid-19 travel restrictions were put in place in March 2020, most airlines including AirAsia have been literally grounded – having not flown in over a year.
Tony had previously acknowledged his company’s financial troubles because of the pandemic and how it was going through a corporate restructuring in order to survive.
The airline promised to pay back its customers in cash, or preferably, AirAsia credit.
AirAsia reportedly paid off 1.5 million claims between January 2020 and April 2021, with 2.9 million people accepting a credit refund in the form of a credit shell.
Tony himself had promised that in the future, he would rehire the people the company was forced to let go.