Airline’s website partners up with travel tech firm


Fernandes (third from right) on stage with Dlouhy (centre) and Rajiv during the announcement of the partnership.

AIRASIA.com has partnered with travel technology company kiwi.com as part of the former’s aim to be Asia-Pacific’s leading travel-and-lifestyle platform, says AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

He said the partnership would see destinations such as London, Dubai, Madrid and Auckland available to travellers who made up the 50 million unique monthly visitors who booked flights, hotel accommodation and other goods and services on airasia.com.

“Today is the start of that journey of separation of AirAsia the airline and airasia.com, the beginning of two different products, ” he added.

The company’s reorganisation was announced in August with the focus on separating the airline operations from its travel-and-lifestyle arm, airasia.com, with teams spread across Asia Pacific as well as a new airasia.com campus slated for opening in Kuala Lumpur by early 2020.

Also present at the press conference was kiwi.com chief executive officer Oliver Dlouhy.

He said he was proud that kiwi.com had been selected to power AirAsia’s transformation and its ambition to become a leading travel-and-lifestyle platform.

Kiwi.com, Dlouhy explained, was helping airasia.com users to make bookings on more than 100 airlines to destinations currently not served by AirAsia in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and the Americas.

“With the help of kiwi.com, we are reinventing ourselves as more than just an airline, ” said Fernandes, elaborating on how the company had envisioned the website to be a one-stop travel shop in the region.

“Airasia.com is an e-commerce product, not an AirAsia product, ” he reiterated, “and we are giving our customers more choices and allowing our database to dream of going to these destinations.”

Airasia.com airline distribution head Rajiv Kumar echoed the sentiment, saying: “This strategic partnership focuses on content and technology sharing, but we are also exploring opportunities to partner directly with airlines and companies who complement our existing network and travel services beyond the Asia-Pacific region.”

Fernandes emphasised that the partnership with kiwi.com should not be misconstrued as code-sharing or inter-lining.

He also highlighted the focus on using BigPay as a platform to redeem Big points (reward points under the brand’s customer loyalty programme) and as a payment method.

Additionally, he announced a partnership between AirAsia and the Davis Cup by Rakuten as the airline becomes an official partner of what Fernandes termed the World Cup of tennis, currently held in Madrid, Spain, with 135 countries competing for the coveted championship cup.

The promotional all-in return fares to Madrid from Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta and Sydney start from as low as RM99 (subject to terms and conditions).

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