to be Asean’s fastest growing travel platform

Evolve from a ticketing platform for AirAsia flights, is emerging as one of the leading one-stop travel and lifestyle e-commerce platforms in Asean, offering products from flights, hotels, travel activities, shopping and more.

Under difficult operating conditions, has achieved significant growth through diversification and digital innovation.

Karen Chan, CEO of, shares her take on this:

Find an opportunity in a crisis situation

1. What are the recent developments at We have always viewed Asean as our playground, connecting its 640 million people to 160 destinations across Asia and the Pacific.

But with the pandemic still ongoing and restrictions on cross-border travel continuing, we are looking for creative ways to overcome these limitations.

With that in mind, our Unlimited Flight Pass, which was recently launched in Malaysia and Thailand, allowing customers to “buy now, fly later”, is one of our latest initiatives to help revitalize the world. domestic travel industry.

This is particularly relevant for customers given the uncertainty we face due to border closures and air travel restrictions.

The first of its kind in Asia, our launch in Malaysia and Thailand was a huge success, reflecting strong consumer demand to travel again. We sold over 200,000 passes during our campaign period and received many requests for the product to be introduced in other markets.

We are closely monitoring the domestic travel situation in all of our markets and look forward to expanding the Unlimited Flight Pass to other markets (such as Indonesia and the Philippines) when flight restrictions are relaxed.

Following the success of the unlimited flight pass in Malaysia and Thailand, we have extended the offer to include hotels and activities. Our hotel bundles, combined with our activity bundles, are not only affordable and convenient, but also perfect for a vacation or family getaway. Guests can expect to save up to 50% for a stay of up to ten nights at our partner hotels at their leisure.

2. How has SNAP progressed since its relaunch in June 2020?

SNAP, a flight and hotel package with the best price guaranteed, is another of our latest products launched to revitalize domestic travel. Our most popular flight and vacation package destinations currently include Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu and Penang. With increasing demand for our products after months of containment, it is evident that many consumers are craving a vacation!

We are able to offer the best price guaranteed because we are the only online travel agent (OTA) in the world with an airline. We optimize our fares to ensure the best value for money based on consumer demand for each flight, route and sector. We partner directly with three to five star properties to provide a combined flight and hotel at an unbeatable price.

To date, we have partnered with over 400 hotel chains and over 100 independent hotels in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia as we continue to expand into Asean.

In Malaysia, we are working closely with the Malaysian Association of Hotels to collaborate with more hotels and hope to increase our partnerships with independent hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Penang as well as in East Malaysia.

After seeing the encouraging adoption of the SNAP pack by our customers, we plan to expand to the rest of ASEAN in the coming months, starting with Thailand.

Stay true to our DNA

3. How is overcoming challenges in these unprecedented times?

Given the new reality we are all facing,’s top priority is to maintain a growth path in a tough economic climate.

As an industry disruptor, we see the crisis as an opportunity to grow in a consolidating industry.’s focus at the moment is to promote domestic travel until international borders reopen and travel restrictions are relaxed. Given AirAsia’s dominant position in the market (eg over 73% capacity market share in Malaysia), we use our strong position to boost domestic air transport where there is demand.

Going back to our DNA of making travel affordable for all, we will continue to innovate with more interesting products, leveraging our one-stop-shop ecosystem and focusing on our most relevant business divisions given the conditions. current market.

At the same time, we will continue to play our part in supporting local communities and worthy causes wherever we can, such as our Save Our Shops campaign, in which we have helped nearly 2,000 small independent physical retailers integrate their operations to our e-commerce platform. .

Our recent initiative “Korban Perdana with IKHLAS” in collaboration with Hari Raya Korban has contributed to 1,600 families

4. As airlines shrink capacity and competition increases, what are your plans to keep travel affordable for everyone? Prices are based on capacity and demand.

The aviation industry, being one of the most affected, is going through a period of consolidation – the rationalization of tariffs will be a natural result. The core of AirAsia’s value proposition has always been to offer value, choice and innovation.

We continually revise our products and innovate to best meet the needs of our customers, at unbeatable prices.

We have survived for 18 years in a hyper-competitive industry and have become the leader in the low cost carrier segment by providing the best prices, the best connectivity of ASEAN and the best customer experience.

As becomes ASEAN’s fastest growing travel and lifestyle platform, we expect our airline and incidental revenue to gradually stabilize as non-airline revenue becomes a driver. key to growth and a commercial priority.

Going forward, we expect our non-airline revenues to outperform our airline performance, which is why we are focused on delivering innovative products that encompass travel, lifestyle, e-commerce and vertical media, to both in the B2B and B2C segments.

5. Other initiatives in preparation by

With the “new normal” in place, we had to realign our business priorities, from travel anywhere to short-term domestic travel.

We also recently launched, our platform for Muslim-friendly travel and lifestyle products.

IKHLAS offers several categories of services aimed specifically at Muslims, from FIT (“free independent traveler”) travel options for Umrah and Haj (when pilgrimage resumes), to halal certified consumer products in its e-commerce marketplace and Qurban online, so that Muslims can continue to perform their religious duties even during travel restrictions.

On the road to recovery

6. In the first quarter (Q1), revenue increased 118% thanks to the roll-out of new offers, promotions, flight and hotel packages. Can we expect the bullish path to continue in the coming quarters?

As travel continues to gradually pick up, more activity is allowed and we begin to get used to the new normal, we expect a gradual recovery in travel activity, which in turn will support the growth of our non-airline business divisions, particularly in the lifestyle, e-commerce and media verticals.

While Asean is our home and domestic travel is our short term focus, we look forward to reopening international borders to realize the potential of as a leading supplier of travel and style products. of life at the best value for money of the Asean.

In anticipation of the imminent reopening of international borders, we are also in the final phase of discussions with major international airlines to connect their European and MEA networks directly to AirAsia’s vast ASEAN network.

These strategic partnerships will complement our existing partnership with, which provides a virtual interline and connectivity optimization engine to deliver one-stop, best-price guaranteed service to our customers.

7. How do you see the industry recovering from hibernation? Is market demand increasing as expected or beyond?

According to our recent market research, nearly 45% of travelers want to travel immediately after lockdown.

Flight searches on our website increased by over 150% after the hibernation period, and as of June 2020, had 1 million daily active users.

Our promotions on domestic travel have been very well received.

We sold over one million seats group-wide in July and continue to expand our capacity. With the lifting of restrictions on operations, we hope to achieve a load factor of 70 to 80% by the third quarter.

Following the positive reception of our domestic travel products by consumers, we anticipate greater traction for international travel once travel restrictions and quarantine requirements are lifted.

Given the interconnected nature of the Asean economy and the fact that tourism collectively accounts for 15% of the GDP of the five largest Asean countries, we look forward to the reopening of borders and look forward to painting in the sky in red again!

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