AirAsia names actress and influencer Neelofa to board

AirAsia has appointed actress and social media influencer Noor Neelofa Mohd Noor (pictured), as its non-executive independent director.

"Neelofa, is a household name in Malaysia. A celebrity turned entrepreneur, she has successfully built a business empire centred around the Naelofar Hijab brand," AirAsia’s spokesperson said. Her appointment comes after the airline named Indonesian actress Raline Shah as a director of PT Indonesia AirAsia, back in August this year.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said Neelofa’s experience as an entrepreneur, a brand creator and an industry disruptor “will be invaluable to AirAsia". In that sense, Fernandes added, she is expected to and will be able to provide fresh insights into the business as it aims to transform into a digital airline.

Fernandes said that Neelofa's track record in championing women in business has also inspired the airline. He added, Neelofa is just what AirAsia needs to help the company stay ahead "as we progress towards becoming one of the best performing, most trusted and respected companies in the world".

The businesswoman also announced the news earlier in a post below, to her 5.3 million Instagram followers, saying the appointment "marks one of the most important milestones and I am excited to take on this new challenge".

First launched in 2014, Naelofar Hijab is on track to rake in RM200 million in sales this year, and is available in 37 countries, including the US, UK, France, Australia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore and Brunei. Naelofar Hijab opened its first flagship store in TTDI in January 2015. Along with Naelofar Hijab, Neelofa have also created two other labels - Nalelofar Abaya, featuring modern and stylish abayas and Lofalens, a brand offering fashionable contact lenses.

“This is not only an achievement for me, but for all women out there. For the past seven years, I have explored both the entertainment and business industries which have presented me with so many opportunities to grow and to transform. I’m excited to take on this brand new role, to challenge myself to go further and also to grow as a person,” Neelofa said, adding she is will represent the Gen Y and offer its insights for the business.

Additionally, AirAsia announced on Bursa Malaysia, the resignation of its CEO Aireen Omar and deputy CEO Tharumalingam A/L Kanagalingam from the board to enhance corporate governance and compliance. This is also in accordance with the newly released Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance by The Securities Commission Malaysia.

The resignation of the duo will pave way for more independent directors on its board. In a statement, the budget airline's spokesperson said the move will essentially enable Omar and Kanagalingam to" focus on the transformation and ambitious growth plans for the company".