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Why AirAsia Will Sell Other Airlines’ Tickets on Their Site

Why AirAsia Will Sell Other Airlines’ Tickets on Their Site
Jackie Reddy

AirAsia might already be Southeast Asia’s largest airline, but despite this, its ambitions remain undimmed. Thanks to heavy user traffic on its website and the wealth of data it can access about its customers, the Kuala Lumpur-based airline is considering offering fares from non-competing carriers.

It may already be Southeast Asia’s largest airline, but it seems that that’s not quite enough for AirAsia. The South China Morning Post reports that the carrier’s ambitions are much larger and that it may soon be offering tickets from non-competing airlines on its website, which itself plays a crucial part of the company’s future plans.

According to the outlet, AirAsia – which also sells accommodation, vacation packages, activities and car rentals to customers as well as fares – receives 65 million unique users a month. This data, it believes, is enough to give it the upper hand and this strategy, if implemented correctly, could be a timely one; based on figures from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), tourism figures are projected to increase as much as 53 percent within the next five years. This equates to an increase of $625 billion.

Tony Fernandes, the founder and chief executive of the Kuala Lumpur-based airline, voiced his confidence to the outlet during a recent conference in Hong Kong, saying, “I have a phenomenally strong platform that I [can] open for business to sell other content. We can be as strong as any online travel agent in terms of selling hotel content.”

Further explaining this proposed model for new growth, he said, “We are going to see the customer first, so we are going to take a large share of the wallet and we’re going to be good at it. The first step would be to be as good as anyone selling hotels, selling activities. And then we may start selling [tickets of] airlines who don’t compete with us.”

Offering his thoughts on AirAsia’s plans, analyst Mohshin Aziz told the outlet that the carrier now has plenty of information from which it can “formulate or create an algorithm to predict the buying pattern” of its customers.

“So many airlines are backwards – they don’t have a well-functioning distribution system. So [AirAsia] can easily become the one that is willing to share for some money and intelligence,” he added.

[Image Source: AirAsia]

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