AirAsia introduces AI chatbot AVA, updates website and app


(starting 3rd from left) AirAsia Innovation & Product Transformation head Kenneth Andersson, Software Engineering head Elias Vafiadis, chief customer happiness officer Adam Geneave, Aireen and chief product officer Nikunj Shanti at the launch of the site revamp. — AirAsia

Low-cost carrier AirAsia has introduced a chatbot – AVA or AirAsia Virtual Allstar – as part of an update to its website and mobile apps.

AVA will assist on live chat, responding to inquiries instantly, and is available in eight languages: English, Bahasa Malaysia, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia, Vietnamese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

The chatbot was built by the AirAsia software engineering and technology and customer happiness team using technology from Ada, a Toronto based company that specialises in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that’s powered by customer experience.

AirAsia deputy group CEO (digital, transformation and corporate services) Aireen Omar says the updated website and app work better, faster and more intuitively thanks to the AI.

“We are always working to enhance our guest experience, and we will be adding more mobile app features in the months to come so it is no longer just a flight booking platform, but your complete travel companion,” she said in the press statement.

The iOS app has several extra features to simplify choosing a flight, including an interactive map that pinpoints all of AirAsia’s destinations in a single page and a Combined Station Picker, which lets users select the nearest departure and arrival airports, and then filter by the number of stops and flight duration.

Users can also check their upcoming flight status by asking Siri. These features are not yet available for Android users.

The update is also meant to integrate AirAsia’s flight offerings with its digital financial service, BigPay, so its users will get instant discounts when they log in.

AirAsia states that its updated homepage is designed for easier and faster navigation and will notify users on upcoming flights – it also includes a low-fare calendar, search shortcuts, duty-free shopping and holiday activities.

To encourage customers to try out the revamped app, AirAsia is offering users a 19% discount for bookings via the app from now till Feb 3.

To get the discount users need to use the promo code MOBILE19, which is applicable for bookings between Aug 1 and Nov 30 this year.

AisAsia has also started the enrolment for its Fast Airport Clearance Experience System (Faces) on its mobile app, which helps users clear security and board their flight seamlessly by using facial recognition tech.

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