airasia.com – the Asean super app for everyone
AirAsia founder Tony Fernandez has created what he hopes will be the next generation “super app” for users in the Asian region as he tackles the travel slump due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tony Fernandez wants to compete with apps like Grab, GoJek and WeChat by offering a one-stop app for food delivery, shopping, payments, entertainment and travel.
As an airline boss, he was looking for new ways to generate income while air travel was suspended..
AirAsia fought to survive the pandemic and cut 30% of its workforce.
In an interview with the BBC, Fernandez said that during the coronavirus crisis, he worked to improve the AirAsia app and the BigPay payment platform.
«The recession was kind of a blessing in disguise, as it allowed us to concentrate more. Airline management takes up a lot of our time, but we have the opportunity and time to focus on our digital business.», – he said.
AirAsia already has a starting point «rich database» of more than 60 million users.
AirAsia, which also offers a messaging service to users, wants to be on par with super apps like Singapore Grab, Indonesian GoJek and Chinese Meituan..
«AirAsia has always been a digital company. We were one of the first airlines to start selling online. It’s in our blood», – added Fernandez, who is also a major shareholder in English football club Queen’s Park Rangers (QPR).
«I know a super app sounds like a lofty goal, but Grab and GoJek also started small as food or travel apps. Plus, people asked me questions when I said I wanted to launch AirAsia.», – noted Fernandez.
Mr. Fernandez’s airline has become Asia’s largest low-cost carrier.
Last year, AirAsia launched its own label called RedRecords in partnership with Universal Music. His goal is to find stars from Southeast Asia who will appeal to Western audiences. First major label-signed artist, Thai pop star Jannine Weigel, has already collected millions of followers on social networks.
«God, we have something special with the label. Koreans have shown how Asian music can appeal to a global audience through K-pop, and that Southeast Asia has enormous potential, Fernandez said. – It also helps us to engage with a younger audience and provides a lot of content for our application».