Mumbai, Aug 24 (IANS) AirAsia here on Wednesday announced a bonanza of free flights for life to all Asean nations’ athletes who won a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The low-cost airline will also give athletes from the 10-nation Asean grouping who won silver and bronze medals free flights for five and two years, respectively.

Eligible athletes will be able to fly to any of the more than 120 destinations within AirAsia and AirAsia X’s extensive network in Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.

The airline’s Group CEO Tony Fernandes said: “I was blown away by the performances from the Asean athletes, such as Thailand’s Sukanya Srisurat and Sopita Tanasan, Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir as well as Joseph Schooling and Hoang Xuan Vinh, who won Singapore and Vietnam’s first ever Olympic gold medals.”

“They proved we can achieve anything as long as we believe in ourselves and work tirelessly towards our dream. This is the least we could do for them”, he added.

Farnandes said the Asean athletes have shown they can not only compete but also excel in top level competitions.

He expressed hope that this would encourage others in the region to follow their footsteps, and look forward to seeing more medals from Asean nations in future games.

AirAsia is Asia’s largest low-cost carrier by passengers carried and jet fleet, with unmatched frequencies. It is also the only airline to fly direct to all 10 Asean countries, including some 60 unique routes in the region.

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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