AirAsia and Trip.com Group plan for travel revival in SEA and China

AirAsia has established a partnership with Chinese travel service provider Trip.com Group to boost travel revival in Southeast Asia and China. The partnership will see the two travel companies collaborate on a range of products and services available on both of their digital platforms. This includes cooperation in the areas of transit information for connecting flights, membership benefits and product marketing, to deliver an enhanced and streamlined experience for travellers.

According to a press release, the partnership is expected to generate synergies for both AirAsia and Trip.com Group's digital platforms. It also aims to spur greater demand for international travel by providing travellers with an end-to-end product offering, from flights to hotels, airport transfers, and activities. Trip.com Group’s premium members will also be able to enjoy upgraded privileges on AirAsia flights when they book on Trip.com Group platforms.

Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia Group said the partnership is timely as AirAsia anticipates the resumption of cross-border travel. According to Fernandes, Chinese passengers represent more than 10% of its Southeast Asia-bound traffic. "This partnership with Trip.com Group demonstrates our commitment and confidence in the China market, more so during this challenging COVID-19 environment, where we remain optimistic for borders to be reopened in the near future," Fernandes said. He added that AirAsia will continue working with strategic partners to provide a greater range of products, services and innovation for its guests’ convenience.

Jane Sun, CEO of Trip.com Group said with demand of air travel gradually increasing, and flight routes continue to resume, it looks forward to work with AirAsia to prepare for the revival of the travel industry. "With the pandemic gradually being brought under control, we’re seeing a recovery in travel demand across the Asia-Pacific region. Already, we’ve seen accommodation volume in a number of key regional markets virtually recover to pre-pandemic volumes, while air ticketing volumes continue to make a strong recovery," Sun said. 

AirAsia has previously showed confidence of the successful continuation of the business. While the first half of 2020 has been extremely challenging, Fernandes said in recent weeks, countries around the world have resumed domestic travel and are gradually reopening international borders. With domestic travel now allowed, the airline has been resuming flights on a staggered yet steady basis since late May.

In a bid to diversify its products and offerings, AirAsia also launched OURFARM, a new business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce platform, earlier in June. The platform will enable over 1,000 government contract farmers and owners of private farms to connect directly to businesses and boost their income by eliminating middlemen costs. The platform will also provide logistical support, allowing farmers to fulfil orders directly to businesses, in line with the government’s National eCommerce Roadmap agenda to future-proof existing businesses and to expand local market access.

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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