AirAsia powers up expansion with digital e-commerce platform
With commercial aviation in Asean returning to normality, AirAsia is powering up its plan to become the No 1 digital travel and lifestyle platform in Southeast Asia.
Tony Fernandes, AirAsia’s founder and CEO, predicts normal air travel will be restored in the region by July, as Covid-19 restrictions lift. AirAsia could bring its full fleet of around 200 planes back into operation by the end of this year and return to profit in 2023, he said on Friday. AirAsia sales were now at 75 per cent of pre-Covid levels, he added.
Fernandes was speaking at a virtual press conference to unveil the partnership between Google Cloud and the AirAsia Super App.
The cloud-powered app – a cornerstone of the company’s digital expansion – will offer on-demand services from car-hailing to flight bookings.
In January, AirAsia rebranded as Capital A to reflect the company’s expansion from aviation into logistics, lifestyle and financial services.
Fernandes said AirAsia’s focus on technology and innovation had seen it through two years of Covid-19 crisis and the airline was now ready to step into the digital economy era.
"With a five-year strategic partnership contract with Google Cloud, I expect this to drive our ambitions to carve out long-term AirAsia business, both onsite and online", said Fernandes.
Google Cloud Singapore and Malaysia country director Sherie Ng hailed the collaboration as a landmark for “a new decade of digital possibilities".
The Super App offers flight and hotel bookings, e-commerce, food and parcel delivery, ride-hailing, financial and health services, on-demand education and more, anchored by a rewards programme and mobile wallet. Since its launch in 2020, the Super App has become one of three unicorns headquartered in Malaysia, according to Credit Suisse.
“We may be late in the game, but with the Super App as the centre of our ecosystem of e-commerce, logistics and fintech, we are determined to give all 700 million people in Asean inclusivity, accessibility and value,” said Fernandes.