AviationThe carrier floats a plan to add airline tickets of non-competing carriers to car rentals and accommodations on its website.

AirAsia has grand ambitions to grow in OTA space

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AirAsia has ambitions to retail airline tickets of non-competing carriers on its website, in addition to car rentals and accommodations.
AirAsia has ambitions to retail airline tickets of non-competing carriers on its website, in addition to car rentals and accommodations.

The low-cost carrier has ambitions to grab a larger share of tourism revenue, which is projected to grow by 53% to US$625 billion in Asia in the next five years, according to the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). 

Budget carrier AirAsia is considering a plan to sell tickets of non-competing carriers on its website, in addition to selling services like car rentals and accommodation, a move that will see it compete with online travel agents. 

The Kuala Lumpur-based carrier’s website attracts 65 million customers each month, and currently offers half a million hotels and serviced apartments worldwide and holiday packages in five regional destinations. 

The plan may see the carrier have easyJet or Ryanair selling their European flights to an Asian traveller planning a trip to the continent, according to Tony Fernandes, AirAsia’s founder and chief executive in an interview with South China Morning Post. 

AirAsia is currently not engaged in any active discussions with other airlines, Fernandes added.

Other airlines such as KLM, which operates a connecting flight from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta, or Ethiopian Airlines’ service to Singapore, could also benefit from AirAsia’s data and sales power.

“We can be as strong as any online travel agent in terms of selling hotel content. I think we can be stronger than Klook at selling activities,” Tony Fernandes, AirAsia’s founder and chief executive, said in an interview with South China Morning Post.

The low-cost carrier has ambitions to grab a larger share of tourism revenue, which is projected to grow by 53% to US$625 billion in Asia in the next five years, according to the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). 

Airasia.com currently has 65 million unique monthly visitors, as well as data of 50 million repeat customers. Online tour agency and activities platform Klook had 16 million monthly visitors last summer.

Fernandes pointed out that the first thing people did when they wanted to travel was to buy an airline ticket, not a hotel. AirAsia.com generated US$4 billion in ticket sales last year for the budget carrier.

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