SEPANG, Nov 15 — AirAsia Bhd announced today it will expand its online services from merely an airline booking platform into a travel and lifestyle platform that will even list its competitors’ products starting 9am tomorrow.
The budget carrier’s group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes told reporters that the website AirAsia.com will be its own separate entity from carriers AirAsia and AirAsia X.
“You’ve got to separate AirAsia the airline and AirAsia.com as they are two different companies and two different products. Today is the start of the journey. AirAsia airline and AirAsia X will continue to do what it’s doing.
“AirAsia.com will fly anywhere. That’s our relationship with Kiwi and we will develop our own relationship with airlines that like us and want to work with us. Where that journey goes, who knows,” said Fernandes.
Currently, AirAsia.com has a profit sharing deal with Czech-based Kiwi.com and its website users will be able to book travel on more than 100 airlines to destinations not served by AirAsia including Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and the Americas.
In the future, it will also have a profit sharing business models with other airlines that are interested in cooperating with AirAsia. However, Fernandes did not disclose of any possible future deals.
The campaign which was launched at AirAsia’s global headquarters began with a promotional all-in return fare to Madrid from Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta and Sydney from just RM99.
A secondary promotion all-in return fare of RM499 will also be marketed for passengers who missed out on the initial offer.
The reason behind the Madrid promotion is because the budget airline is sponsoring the World Cup of tennis, the Davis Cup.
Touching on why a customer should use AirAsia.com instead of booking directly with a competitor airline, Fernandes said that it already has a database of around 100 million passengers.
“For the 100 million people in Air Asia we already have their credit card details. We can personalise the offer better. We know whether you want the cheapest possible flight or the shortest time. That’s the big advantage of booking with us.
“If you book from an airline directly, they may not know you. But if you book on AirAsia we already know you,” he explained.
In August, Fernandes was appointed the chief executive officer of AirAsia.com, together with chief commercial officer Karen Chan and chief operating officer Spencer Lee.