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AirAsia, from simple airline to Super App…

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They are no longer presented… Super Apps are more than ever in the spotlight. Indeed, in just a few years, super apps have become an emerging trend in many countries. As a reminder, their objective is to simplify the consumer journey as much as possible. From the discovery of the purchase to the execution, they promise users convenience and simplicity. It is on the Asian continent that this concept is most widespread… While WeChat and Gojek hold the lead in this geographical area, a new platform is coming into play… Zoom on this new application, which does not intend to stay on the tarmac…

The emergence of a Super App

AirAsia, a Malaysian airline, owes its reputation to its low-cost flights. Since 2001, it has operated a network of more than 140 destinations in 22 markets, carrying more than 4.8 million people. Based in Kuala Lumpur, the airline is committed to its agile culture and wishes to “never stand still”. However, as with many companies, the Covid-19 health crisis has clearly impacted its results. During this slow period, planes are on the ground and the company has time to focus on other things… Thus, the global epidemic of 2019 has paradoxically played a key role in the company’s diversification. The first notable change came in January 2022 when the AirAsia Group introduced its new identity: Capital A. A name change that reflects its new business strategy.

Then things accelerate… In February 2022, AirAsia launches its travel and lifestyle platform in Thailand. The services offered are varied and go far beyond air travel. The group’s activities now include an online marketplace (airasia shop) for food and groceries (airasia food, airasia fresh). From travel to shopping, logistics (Teleport), financial services (BigPay), training (Redbeat Academy) and on-demand delivery (xpress) and services, AirAsia is establishing itself as a major super app.

We have combined our 20 years of experience as a leading low-cost airline and our vast market base in ASEAN with technological innovations to develop the AirAsia Super App. It seeks to facilitate various daily needs and lifestyle trends by offering a comprehensive range of products and services. This is a very important business for us, and we expect non-flight revenues to account for 50% of our total revenues within five years.

TONY FERNANDES, CEO OF CAPITAL A

AirAsia (already) recognised as a unicorn

In less than two years, Air Asia super App has been recognized as one of Malaysia’s three unicorns by Credit Suisse. Indeed, the company has grown from an airline to a mobile app offering more than 16 services. Now listed on the stock exchange, AirAsia has a market capitalization of USD 2.58 billion and very high growth potential.

Today, we are one of the leading online travel agencies (OTAs) in Asia. We offer a one-stop platform for travel services such as flight booking from 700 airlines and a large inventory of hotels. We are also expanding our delivery capabilities, leveraging our acquisition such as Gojek Thai, enhancing our speed to market with services such as food delivery (Airasia food), retail (AirAsia grocery), to same day parcel delivery (Airasia xpress).

AMANDA WOO, CEO OF AIRASIA SUPER APP

Towards a thriving future?

By 2026, the group has set a target of :

  • Connecting over 1 billion people to, from and within ASEAN.
  • Reaching over 21 million orders each month on AirAsia grocer.
  • Have 5 million enrollments on its education subsidiary AirAsia Academy.
  • Become the best app in ASEAN by 2026. Expect exponential growth in the total number of users.
  • Add more domestic carriers and hotel partners to increase flight and hotel bookings on the platform.
  • Add 1-2 services in the lifestyle, e-commerce and fintech categories each year.
  • Double the number of users by 2026 (currently 51 million)

CEO Fernandes says AirAsia is now a multi-business company and a valuable data-driven technology company with a strong brand. However, AirAsia, is still far from the size of super apps such as Grab, GoJek or even WeChat.. According to Tony, what sets AirAsia apart from its digital competitors is the quality, knowledge of customer data accumulated over 20 years. AirAsia is first and foremost a brand that people love, combined with an exceptional customer experience and numerous awards. The group does not aspire to expand into a single country like its leading competitors… But to conquer a large area of South East Asia such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines… This is where AirAsia will continue to focus, says CEO Tony Fernandes.

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