AviationStreamlining the business also part of the plan

AirAsia poised to become a digital airline in 2017, says Fernandes

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AirAsia
AirAsia

The airline is investing heavily in digitalisation and has been growing its digital services such as BIG Duty Free, BIG Pay, BIG Loyalty, Touristly, Rokki onboard Wifi and Xcite inflight entertainment.

The year ahead promises to be more exciting as it marks the emergence of AirAsia group as a digital airline company, said AirAsia group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes.

The airline is investing heavily in digitalisation and has been growing its digital services such as BIG Duty Free, BIG Pay, BIG Loyalty, Touristly, Rokki onboard Wifi and Xcite inflight entertainment.

“Digitalisation is expected to boost our ancillary income from RM46 (US$10.30) [per passenger] currently to our RM60 (US$13.40) target. Some of the initiatives include dynamic pricing of baggage allowance and Tune Protect insurance, offering an extra-seat option to our customers and enhancing our inflight meal options,” he added. 

The company also wants to streamline the business and dispose of non-core businesses, the biggest of which is its leasing arm - Asia Aviation Capital, worth about US$1 billion, said Fernandes. Bids are coming in with sale expected to take place early next year.

Other plans include two potential Initial Public Offerings (IPO). Its flight crew training centre, AirAsia Academy (AACE), will be listed in Kuala Lumpur and ASEAN Holding Co in Hong Kong.

According to Fernandes, the Group also hopes to break ground on new
low-cost airports across ASEAN and are now “ working closely with local governments to build dedicated facilities in a number of cities with the aim of alleviating congestion and driving higher traffic across our network and bring more tourists into these hubs”.  

He believes that with the necessary permissions, they can “deliver a fully operating airport in less than a year.”

In Q3 this year, the AirAsia Group posted combined revenue of RM2.97 billion (US$665.7 million), a six per cent increase from the same period last year. 

Operating profit for the group, comprising AirAsia Berhad and associate airlines in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, India and Japan, was RM525.9 million up from RM332.2 million in the same quarter last year.

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