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AirAsia on track to become the leading Asean Super App

Non airline digital businesses going from strength to strength AirAsia’s goal to become the leading digital travel and lifestyle platform of choice
Non airline digital businesses going from strength to strength



AirAsia’s goal to become the leading digital travel and lifestyle platform of choice in Asean is fast becoming a reality. The super app is now one of the top three online travel agencies (OTAs) in the region, non airline businesses are growing to meet strong consumer demand, BigPay is on track to become the first virtual bank and Teleport is going from strength to strength.

As per the AirAsia Group financial results announcement on 27 May for the first quarter of 2021, non airline digital platform revenues have improved significantly. The airasia super app recorded a 45% year on year quarterly revenue improvement to RM 10 million during the quarter boosted by solid growth of products and services available on the platform. Revenue for Teleport, the airline's e-commerce logistics venture, tripled versus the last quarter of 2020.

“Just as we created an airline for the people by revolutionising air travel 20 years ago, we are now disrupting and democratising the industry again through the development of our super app with over 17 travel and lifestyle products leveraging off one another,” said Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group CEO.

“As we continue to evolve, one thing we always remain true to is our promise of always delivering the best value in all that we do, serving the underserved by making it affordable to fly, stay, shop, eat, upskill and much more. Looking out for the everyday people is what we do best and our aim is to continue to support them, not only in the major cities, but also in the smaller cities we serve, where many people are struggling the most and access to products and services are more limited.

“Through our digital ecosystem, we have already created thousands of jobs and supported more than 3,500 SMEs in Malaysia. Our training centre, AirAsia Academy (currently known as Redbeat Academy), offers affordable digital and tech training courses to equip not only our own employees, but also SMEs and members of the public, with skills to bridge the technology gap in Malaysia and beyond in this ever changing digital world. As we continue to expand our digital footprint in Malaysia and other Asean countries, our contribution in the region will only increase and become more significant from here onwards.

“In just over a year we are now one of the top three leading online travel agencies (OTAs) in Asean based on website traffic, with over 100 million average page views monthly on airasia.com. In the future, when travel resumes in our key markets, we can guarantee best value prices for our flight and hotel packages because we own our own airline.

“Other non airline businesses including airasia food, airasia fresh, airasia shop and our Santan franchise restaurants are expanding into new markets to meet the changing needs of consumers, delivering greater value and convenience. We have recently launched airasia beauty, airasia health and airasia money - our latest consumer fintech solution, offering bite-sized low cost financial products such as credit cards, personal loans, insurance, investment, remittance, top-ups, and bill payments via our partners. We also have major plans to further develop BigPay to become the best virtual bank in the region and we are tapping into the full potential of our loyalty platform BIG Rewards, to provide the best range for rewards and redemption in Asean and beyond.

“Our plan for the airasia super app is to roll out its popular products and services to more of our Asean markets. For example, airasia food expanded into Singapore in March 2021, Penang and Kota Kinabalu in May 2021 and will soon be in Indonesia and Thailand. Airasia beauty has launched in Malaysia and Indonesia. We are working on expanding our health services in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, while offering SNAP hotel and accommodation deals in Vietnam and Singapore in the near future.

“Teleport is booming. Not only providing same day, door-to-door deliveries, but also now delivering vaccines in Malaysia and around the region, creating over 4,000 delivery driver jobs in 17 key markets. We are also looking forward to converting passenger planes into freighters in the coming months to cater for unprecedented cargo demand.”

“While many people still think of us as Asia’s leading low cost airline, what we have achieved in the past year through our digital transformation into a one stop travel and lifestyle platform is incredible, thanks to the hard work of our passionate and malleable Allstars (employees).”

“We saw the crisis as an opportunity to use the downtime in flying caused by the pandemic to leverage the strength of our database of over 60 million customers and to focus on developing new non airline revenue streams in the key areas of e-commerce, fintech and logistics.

“There are many more innovations in the pipeline including ride hailing ‘airasia ride,’ which will be launched in coming months, as well as the potential of drone delivery and even electric or hydronic airplanes in the future as we put consumers and sustainability at the forefront of all that we do.

“In the airline business, Asia Digital Engineering (ADE) is set to become one of the region's best value aircraft maintenance and overhaul providers for both short term line maintenance and longer-term base maintenance, a space previously dominated by Singapore-based maintenance and overhaul companies (MROs). I firmly believe ADE will become the leading aircraft maintenance/overhaul company in the region in the near future with significant potential growth opportunities in Asean and beyond with service excellence and the lowest cost base.

“We are launching many contactless technologies to make flying more seamless and hygienic ahead of resumption of flying in the near future including our version of a digital passport called Scan2Fly where guests can upload required medical documentation and have it verified in real time online, before heading to the airport. FACES - our biometric facial recognition technology will be launching soon from klia2 and rolled out across all key destinations in the future.

“There is a silver lining to every crisis and the best thing to come out of this pandemic is our recovery as a stronger, more resilient travel and lifestyle platform - not solely reliant on airfares alone anymore.

“People, price and accessibility underpin all that we do. We are today a ‘new look’ AirAsia – with the right focus and foundations to better meet the needs of the digital revolution as we embark on an exciting new phase of growth,” he said.