AirAsia targets top online travel agency in Asean

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Group Bhd aims to be the leading online travel agency (OTA) in Asean, according to Amanda Woo, CEO of AirAsia Super App.

“In just over two years, we are now one of the top three online travel agencies (OTAs) in ASEAN by website traffic, with over 100 million page views on average per month.

“What gives us a unique advantage is the fact that we are the only OTA that also owns an airline, which has allowed us to leverage our experience with flights to secure the guaranteed lowest prices on many curated offers. We also have access to a wealth of large and rich travel data, as we have always been a digital-driven company since day one, 20 years ago, ”she told the media at a briefing today.

Currently, the app has over 700 international airline brands serving over 3,000 destinations and promoting thousands of hotels worldwide. Additionally, it has engaged more than 20 new airlines as direct partners, including Air Canada, KLM, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines.

With more than 600 million passengers having flown with AirAsia over the years, Woo believes this translates into a captive audience providing a feeding market to open up Asean to these global airlines. The group aims to provide a platform that brings value not only to consumers but also to airlines.

“Airlines now see us as a marketing powerhouse, we are no longer just an airline but a brand, and they see how we come together, that is the most important philosophy for this OTA direction.”

With its direct partners, the application is able to offer virtual interlining that combines the network of these airlines resulting in 145 unique routes 30% cheaper than the market rate.

AirAsia flight chief Rajiv Kumar said the more than 20 new partners are just the start and he aims to rack up more.

“The goal is to have all the airlines that fly from Asean to the world as well as hubs where we can connect more broadly, like the Middle East. In addition, we’re also looking to touch base at United States and Europe, to capture consumers in those markets as well,” he said.

On the issue of recovery, the super app CEO thinks there is a promising year ahead.

“Over the past few weeks following the reopening announcement, we have seen a surge in demand for our airlines, hotels and travel packages,” Woo said.

She predicted a very strong recovery over the next 12 months, but said it remained to be seen whether it would be a full recovery.

“Based on what we see, there will be a strong V-shaped recovery in the coming months, especially for the domestic market. Internationally, more and more companies are opening up and the SOPs are improving and standardizing.

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