AirAsia partners Turkish Airlines to leverage potential rebound in global travel

AirAsia's super app, airasia.com, has tied up with Turkish Airlines to boost its pan-Asia flight network by tapping into the latter's destination map. Airasia.com will now be able to combine Turkish Airlines' flight inventory with its flights and offer itineraries with discounted fares.

According to airasia.com, the partnership is also expected to generate "a substantial synergy" between the two parties through the cross-promotion of destinations, in a bid to be proactively prepared to leverage the return of international travel. AirAsia's group CEO Tony Fernandes said the partnership will prepare the airline for the rebound in travel that it expects once borders gradually reopen next year.

He added that airasia.com has a comprehensive portfolio of travel and lifestyle products that is "well-poised to promote the best that Turkey and the wider European market have to offer". "We will continue to collaborate creatively with other industry players to stimulate travel demand and complete our product offering as the one-stop platform for all our customer’s travel and lifestyle needs," he added.

Meanwhile, AirAsia recently officially announced that it has entered the food delivery industry with airasia food. This came after group CEO Tony Fernandes was pictured standing next to a bike with a food delivery bag on Instagram two weeks ago. Airasia food said following the reinstatement of the Conditional Movement Control Order until early December, it saw a 1,150% increase in order volumes within the Klang Valley.

The airline was not spared from the pandemic, having had to retrench 10% of its 24,000 employees. AirAsia also terminated more than 300 employees in June, according to a report by Astro AWANI. AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat said then that the organisational restructure was a "viable alternative at present" due to the challenging situation.

More recently, AirAsia Japan filed for bankruptcy weeks after it ceased operations on 5 October. AirAsia said in a Bursa filing that the move was "due to insolvency resulting from a demand slump in travel induced by lockdown restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic". As a result, it is unable to refund about 23,000 air tickets, Japanese news agency Kyodo News said, adding that its total liabilities were about US$208 million.

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