AirAsia Group CEO, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, has plans to enhance air travel experience with the help of digitisation. During his recent trip to Singapore, Fernandes praised the Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 (T4), the newest terminal, as a model airport of the future for low-cost carriers (LCC).
“[Changi] understands the value LCCs bring to the airport and the wider economy. More importantly, CAG treats us like partners and are always looking for a win-win solution that benefits everyone. FAST is fast and it’s the future, and we couldn’t be more pleased to work with a world-class airport operator like CAG who understands the power of going digital to take the airport experience to the next level,” he said.
Fernandes also lauded the new features such as the fully-automated terminal incorporates (Fast and Seamless Travel) FAST initiatives which includes automated check-in kiosks to retrieve flight bookings and print boarding passes and bag tags, automated bag drops, immigration clearance and boarding gates, all powered by facial recognition technology.
He added that moving to the new terminal was a move forward in the LCC’s digitisation process of the airport experience. This is because the new fascilities helps with improved savings and efficiencies.
“It aligns perfectly with our quest to maintain the lowest cost structure as well as our vision of seamless travel, which means lower fares for our guests and more traffic for Changi,” he added. AirAsia will also use data from its operations at Changi T4 as an ongoing case study on how to improve LCC airport processes through greater digitalisation, with lessons from its experience at T4 to be rolled out across AirAsia Group.
Last year, the low-cost carriers (LCC) accounted for 49.6% passenger traffic in Singapore. AirAsia is the largest foreign airline group in Singapore, accounting for more than one in eight passengers, and the largest LCC in Changi T4, AirAsia’s spokesperson said.
The praise of the new airport comes shortly after the high profile spat the CEO with the Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) over the name of klia2 in Sepang, and terminal facilities. Not long after, Fernandes praised Johor’s Senai Airport for being, a “hard working private entrepreneurial,” while calling on MAHB not to behave like a “monopoly”.
The brand has already embarked on a series of measures to make pre-flight, inflight and post-flight experiences better and more enjoyable for guests, with the help of online shopping and Travel 3Sixty on-ground activities to loyalty programme and virtual currency BIG Loyalty.
Meanwhile, separately to A+M, an AirAsia’s spokesperson also confirmed that Fernandes’ vision is to eliminate the usage of cash in AirAsia flights with the introduction of its e-wallet service, BigPay. The service, which is expected to launch within the next two to three months, would allow travellers to connect up to 10 debit or credit cards to make transactions across ASEAN. This will include all 10 ASEAN currencies, while offering lower foreign exchange rates compared with banks.
The airline also plans to work with Palantir to develop a secure entry system for trusted travellers to speed up immigration at airports within ASEAN through collaboration with airports and government agencies, as well as improve operational, safety and commercial processes within the group by integrating data from multiple sources using Skywise by Airbus.