AirAsia’s group CEO Tony Fernandes AirAsia’s official website will soon start selling tickets of other airlines. In a Twitter post, Fernandes said that AirAsia.com will be formed as a new company under the open sourcing firm that helps in building software, Red Hat Inc.
He also stated his confidence in AirAsia.com, believing that the website will generate as much gross merchandise volume (GMV) from non-AirAsia flight tickets as it does from selling AirAsia flight tickets in due time. Fernandes tweeted that the GMV is $4 billion as of now. GMV indicates a total sales dollar value for merchandise sold through the e-commerce platform.
Additionally, Fernandes announced in a string of tweets that the hotel sales via the website increased 300 percent last week. Hotel sales are predicted to grow even further, along with other activities such as holiday packages and car rentals. He added that AirAsia’s loyalty points system will help drive more people to the platform.
“AirAsia.com is the strongest platform in ASEAN. No OTA (Online Travel Agency) or lifestyle app can match us. With payment, loyalty points, a huge database and unique and great content we will be a force”, Fernandes said in a tweet.
Competition among OTAs have seen a huge increase over the past decade. This along with the relatively small profit margins of the budget flight business has forced many OTAs to diversify into other ancillary services such as hotel reservations and car rentals. AirAsia, which has managed to capture a sizeable chunk of the travel market within the ASEAN region, holds a distinct advantage in terms of recognisability.
Being one of the most well-known and used travel platforms in the region, other airlines can benefit from the extra exposure provided by the AirAsia.com platform. In turn, the addition of more travel options will likely attract more visitors to the website.