AirAsia pulls sales of flights from Indonesian online travel agent Traveloka

AirAsia is permanently withdrawing sales of its flights from online travel agent Traveloka. The move covers all flight routes across the AirAsia network following the unexplained disappearance of AirAsia Indonesia flights from Traveloka for the second time in the past two weeks.

AirAsia flights first disappeared from Traveloka from 14 to 17 February 2019, coinciding with AirAsia’s network-wide system upgrade on 16 February 2019. Traveloka had cited the 13-hour system downtime as the reason for AirAsia flights disappearing from their website in response to queries from customers. However, AirAsia flights disappeared from Traveloka for a second time on 2 March without clarification, well after the successful system upgrade by AirAsia.

Travellers who wish to purchase AirAsia flights are advised to book directly from the website or the AirAsia mobile app.

AirAsia Indonesia president director Dendy Kurniawan the omission of flights has "hurt" cooperation between AirAsia and Traveloka, adding that Traveloka has "not acted in good faith" and that they refused to provide an official explanation despite the airline's multiple attempts to seek clarification.

"The exclusion of several AirAsia Indonesia flights by Traveloka is a clear display of preferential treatment and an act of favouritism. We observed through social media messages how customers who enquired about the unavailability of AirAsia flights were recommended by Traveloka to book with other airlines instead. Therefore, in solidarity, AirAsia Group withdraws sales of all of its flights from Traveloka effective immediately," Dendy said.

He added that competition should be free and fair to ensure consumers benefit from the best deals. "We should not let monopolies kill competition at the expense of the travelling public," he said.

Last year, Traveloka was said to be in talks to raise about US$400 million to accelerate its expansion plans. The plans go beyond traditional airline tickets and hotels bookings, focusing on activities such as concerts and amusement parks.