AirAsia partners Google Cloud to become a travel tech company

AirAsia and Google Cloud are collaborating to integrate machine learning and artificial intelligence into every aspect of the airline's business and culture. This is part of AirAsia's transformation into a travel technology company.

As part of the partnership, both parties will work to solve high-impact business challenges including driving better demand forecasting and more targeted marketing. AirAsia and Google Cloud also aim to improve customer experience and loyalty by providing a more personalised experience for its customers, as well as maximise operational efficiency and reduce risk through predictive maintenance, real-time weather forecasting and crew optimisation.

According to AirAsia's group CEO Tony Fernandes, the airline is building two "big platforms" - and lifestyle site BigLife. will serve as a one-stop digital travel platform where customers can book their travel needs from flights, accommodation, tours, ground transport to entertainments. Meanwhile, BigLife will incorporate all of AirAsia's digital investments under its digital arm RedBeat Ventures, such as BigPay, ROKKI, Ourshop, RedBox and RedCargo. Fernandes said both platforms will help the airline drive "much more business" into AirAsia with the help of data.

AirAsia’s technical team will work with Google Cloud engineers, allowing it to solve specific business scenarios while gaining a solid foundation in AI with Google Cloud’s TensorFlow and Cloud Machine Learning Engine. AirAsia will be able to enroll its technical teams in the same programme Google Cloud uses to train its engineers, allowing the airline to build on its own internal machine learning expertise.

AirAsia will also work closely with Google Cloud to digitalise and transform its way of work and culture by deploying G Suite and Chrome Enterprise to create an agile digital experience. This will provide the airline with access to data and analysis when and where it is needed for faster, more informed decision-making.

Fernandes added the airline has been "at the forefront" of adopting new digital technologies since its inception in 2001, and it is now in its next phase of development where it is expanding beyond air transport and digitalising its operations and processes to become more efficient.

Diane Greene, CEO of Google Cloud, said, "AirAsia started with G Suite to transform the way its organization works. Now, with our advanced analytics platform and machine learning services, AirAsia will be able to digitize every aspect of its business to better serve their customers.”