AirAsia CEO says 2019 will be when the public sees its digital strength

AirAsia is looking to flex its digital muscles come 2019. Its ever vocal CEO Tony Fernandes said over a series of tweets that 2019 will be the year that people take notice of the airline’s digital strength. He also added that the focus for the year would be to make the Indonesia and Philippines markets more profitable.

Other markets mentioned included India, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan where there are “major populations and growing economies.” The airline would be focusing on building its offering in these countries and will not be opening up any more new airlines for the next three years.

Most recently, the airline transferred its non-digital businesses to Redbeat Ventures its wholly owned subsidiary. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the group announced that Redbeat Ventures entered into a Share Sale Agreement with AirAsia Berhad and AirAsia Investment Ltd respectively on 25 June 2018 to acquire nine non-airline digital businesses as well as their subsidiaries. These entities principally involved in the provision of digital-related services including AirAsia BIG Loyalty, BigPay, travel360, ROKKI, Ourshop, RedCargo Logistics, RedBox Logistics, Vidi and RedTix.

AirAsia deputy group CEO (Digital, Transformation and Corporate Services) Aireen Omar said by placing the airline's digital assets under Redbeat Ventures, it hoped to more effectively expand and monetise its digital businesses and broaden AirAsia’s digital footprint. As the corporate venture arm of AirAsia, Redbeat Ventures looks at working with technology startups and looks out for investment opportunities in the high-tech and digital space to remain competitive and relevant in these rapidly changing commercial and technological environments.

In October last year, AirAsia partnered with Google Cloud to integrate machine learning and artificial intelligence into every aspect of the airline’s business and culture. As part of the partnership, both parties will work to solve high-impact business challenges including driving better demand forecasting and more targeted marketing.