It’s been sometime since ‘Snake Charmer’, Tony Fernandes a.k.a. ‘Snake in Suit’ has been in the spot-light here!

His somewhat low profile has since been broken by his recent caustic comments about Singapore Airlines, under its new chairman, deciding to set up its own budget long haul airline …… similar to Air Asia X!

He twittered, “Not worried. They (SIA) should be worried. Their P&L (i.e. Profit & Loss statement) going to hurt. Businesses should stick to what they know best.”

This twitter message from the Snake Charmer is indeed revealing for various reasons.

Tony Fernandes  says unequivocally that SIA’s profitability, reflected in its Profit & Loss statement, is going to hurt.

So far, Air Asia X is the only so-called profitable budget long haul airline whilst others have fallen by the way-side. 


Has Tony Fernandes got a secret black box that no one else has …….. a box that enables him to run both Air Asia and Air Asia X at great profitability?

Maybe, despite the dearth of Malaysian human capital, the Snake Charmer has managed to charm all the smart Malaysians to join Air Asia to make it ‘what it is’ today!

OR …… could it just be that whilst many want to believe the Tony Fernandes rhetoric, awards and recognition as reflective of his success ……. the reality of it all is that it is just an ILLUSION?

Maybe, just maybe, the profitability of Air Asia or Air Asia X is just an illusion …… with attractive returns being just paper profits …… not real.

Just look at Air Asia’s profit & loss statement for 2007 and 2008. Their profit AFTER tax ……. is much larger than its profit BEFORE tax! How can that be?

Does that mean that Air Asia is being given monies somehow from the government …… resulting in the boosting of its profitability?

That’s ludicrous ….. but that’s what it seems to imply.

Is that why he is confident SIA ‘X’ will be loss making ….. as SIA is not expected to indulge in such ‘snakey’ practices, unlike the Snake Charmer?

Is this the tip of the iceberg?

What about the losses of its Thailand and Indonesian operations?

Air Asia may not recognise those losses for some reason, as stated in the accounts, but cash has been disbursed from the mother company i.e. Air Asia …. and presumably lost and they run into hundreds of millions of Ringgit!!

Maybe, just maybe …… the ability to tide themselves (i.e. Air Asia) over all these years is from the cash that they receive up-front from the bookings made months before travel.

Gosh, this is beginning to sound like a Ponzi scheme ….. similar to Bernard Madoff’s.


The fact that Air Asia’s auditors are PricewaterhouseCoopers is no comfort either …… aren’t they also the auditors for Satyam, Lehman Brothers and Sime Darby, to name a few?

The only saving grace is that EPF is also a substantial shareholder of Air Asia, with a stake in excess of 20%.

As such, in the eyes of the Malaysian government,  Air Asia may be deemed too big to fail and will need to be rescued when things get ugly.

After all, being the Snake Charmer that he is, he will have to ensure the support by snake charming the establishment with the likes of F1 sponsorship of Lotus, ‘philanthrophy’, ‘awards’ for being such a fantastic CEO and ‘general’ support to ‘pihak-pihak tertentu’! 

In any case, CAVEAT EMPTOR to all!

UPDATE (3June 2011) : Another example of his Snake Charming attempts falling flat ….. take-over of West Ham United …. click HERE for the brush-off.

And if you want to know where the Snake Charmer gets his money to charm his way through, click HERE  ……. thanks to EPF for supporting his shares in Air Asia!





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