PETALING JAYA: AirAsia’s newly launched flagship digital offering looks set to take Asean by storm, aggregating millions of users from across the region onto a one-stop platform to create a common marketplace for all.
Recognising its importance to business in the 21st century, the budget airlines’ owner, Capital A, took advantage of a lull in air travel during the Covid-19 pandemic to fast-track its digitisation agenda by launching its all-new airasia Super App.
Designed to combine its travel and e-commerce platforms, the app offers services across several categories, such as travel, delivery, media and community.
Under the media and community category, users can tune into RedRadio for music, connect socially or read content on travel.
These will be anchored by SUPER+, its subscription product, and the aisasia rewards loyalty programme.
Launched in October 2020, the Super App gives small businesses access to a platform where they can list their products and services for free while capitalising on AirAsia’s existing logistics business to fulfil deliveries.
“It is important for us to help the community as they are our pillar of support during the good times,” said Airasia’s Asean Super App CEO Amanda Woo.
Within a year, it expanded to add food and grocery delivery to its list of services, which became essential during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Apart from that, it has integrated beauty shopping into AirAsia’s existing duty-free shopping arm.
In doing so, the Super App threw a lifeline to more than 33,000 local merchants across Malaysia, allowing their businesses to reach out to a whole new online consumer market.
“We wanted to ensure that everyone could continue with everyday tasks despite the pandemic,” Woo told FMT Business.
“We first offered airasia ride to help people get from Point A to Point B. We then followed this up with delivering meals to their doorstep through airasiafood and delivering their parcels through airsia xpress,” Woo said.
By putting the travel and delivery categories into a connected ecosystem, the Super App offers users a one-stop solution for flights, hotels, activities as well as airport transfers.
Its travel category features an online travel agency (OTA) and SNAP, a service that enables users to book their flights and hotels. Users will have access to 700 airlines and 700,000 hotels in 3,000 destinations.
Capitalising on its parent company’s regional foothold, the Super App’s pricing is expected to be more competitive than most OTAs.
Its travel platform, known as “Travelmall”, carries duty-free goods and retail products from across Asean. It presently allows cross-border delivery of retail items from Langkawi, with Phuket and Bali set to be added very soon.
Moving quickly along the innovation pipeline is “Holidays”, a platform that will enable users to bundle their flights, hotel stays and activities into one booking.
Under the delivery category, which is a key growth area, the Super App already has several services. Some, such as airasia food and airasia ride, have been launched, while others are still in the pipeline.
Merchants trading on the platform can expect a significant edge with the Super App boasting 51 million users across Asean at the lowest commission rate presently available in the market.
“We have also begun interstate food delivery via AirAsia flights,” said Woo. “Merchants in Penang are now able to deliver food items to Kuala Lumpur through airasia food.”
Following the acquisition of local e-hailing company Dacsee in August last year, the Super App began offering ride hailing services across Malaysia, and more recently in Bangkok, Thailand.
“Within eight months of its launch, our Malaysian service has amassed a stable of 30,000 registered drivers who have completed a million rides,” Woo revealed, adding that plans were being put in place to expand the fleet and launch the service in Sabah and Sarawak.
“We are also working on building our own social hub with airasia chat,” said Woo. “App users will be able to connect with each other to share stories, notes, tips and experiences as well as engage in one-to-one chats.”
To top off its stable of services, airasia also has a comprehensive programme that rewards loyal customers, not only those who fly but those who use its other services.
Under the programme, customers earn points for shopping, dining and travelling through airasia’s range of services. These points can be redeemed for goods or services later.
Better yet, there are no boundaries to point redemption. For instance, points earned when booking a flight from Indonesia can be used to get a food voucher in Kuala Lumpur. Essentially, these points serve as a digital currency.
The Asean Super App has all the right infrastructure in place, with a platform capable of being optimised to serve as a marketplace for many more lines of businesses.
Backed by regional powerhouse AirAsia, the Super App can confidently draw on its parent’s strong legacy, brand image and the wealth of data it has amassed over the past two decades to deliver an unrivalled service across Asean for the foreseeable future.