Omar begins her new role on July 1 and will report directly to AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, who is moving to the company’s new Jakarta base.
Omar said today (June 18) that she was “honoured and humbled” by the appointment and that she had “big shoes to fill”.
The low-cost carrier announced last week that Fernandes would head up the newly-formed AirAsia Asean operation, which, it said, would tap into an “underserved market” of three billion people spread across ASEAN, Northeast Asia and South Asia.
Prior to her appointment, Omar was regional head of corporate finance, treasury and investor relations.
She joined AirAsia in January 2006 as director of corporate finance and was instrumental in securing financing for AirAsia’s fleet expansion.
Her role included handling negotiations with Airbus for the record purchase of 200 Airbus A320neo aircraft – a deal announced at the Paris Airshow in 2011.
Fernandes said: “Aireen has consistently demonstrated her capabilities and commitment in propelling AirAsia to new heights. She has long been an invaluable part of the senior management team of AirAsia and possesses the vision and leadership qualities crucial for the company’s growth in its second decade.”
Prior to joining AirAsia, Omar worked for nine years in the financial industry.
She began her career at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc in New York and on returning to Malaysia in 2001, she worked in several major local financial institutions, including Maybank Group.
She holds an economics degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a masters in economics from New York University.
She said: “I am honoured and humbled by the trust and confidence placed in me. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have worked with and learned from two of the best entrepreneurs in Asean. These are certainly big shoes to fill.”
She added that AirAsia would now “move onwards with confidence”.