AirAsia, one of Asia’s iconic airlines, has entered into a partnership with ride-hailing company Uber across 16 markets in Asia Pacific and the US. Ashvin Khera, Uber’s Marketing Manager for Malaysia said in in a blog post that the partnership would result in “more exciting joint marketing efforts”. The idea is that customers will use an Uber ride to get to the airport, get on the flight, and then take another Uber at the destination, creating an entire transportation ecosystem that benefits AirAsia passengers and both of the companies. AirAsia passengers can make their Uber reservation 30 days before their schedule flight and reservations can be cancelled or updated depending upon the status of their flights.
Tony Fernandes, the CEO of the AirAsia group said that, “AirAsia is always looking to complement its inflight experience with services outside the plane that meet the AirAsia standards. Working with Uber allows our guests to plan their entire trip from the moment they step out of their home right until they arrive at their destination, providing amazing travel comfort and peace of mind.”
Brooks Entwistle, Uber’s chief business officer, Asia Pacific, said, “We can provide a service that allows customers to request their Uber ride to the airport in step with their itinerary and have their Uber driver partner waiting for them when their flight lands.”
Uber is not the only ride-hailing app to strike a partnership with an airline although the agreement with AirAsia covers more markets than its competitors. In October 2017, Singapore Airlines and Grab entered into a similar agreement that has the objective of providing a seamless travel experience for travellers in Southeast Asia.
The Singapore Airlines and Grab agreement allows SIA customers to book Grab rides through the SingaporeAir mobile app, and allows SIA customers to book a Grab taxi seven days before their scheduled flight. The partnership between SIA and Grab currently covers six markets in Southeast Asia - Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
AirAsia also made headlines in October 2017 when it announced an agreement with WorldKoins, a mobile app operated by Appykoins Sdn. Bhd, which allows currency to be converted to eGift cards and vouchers that can be used to shop online from mobile phones.
AirAsia and WorldKoins have been working on a six-month pilot program that allows guests on AirAsia the option to convert Malaysian Ringgit-denominated currency into WorldKoins credits that can be used to shop at various participating merchants such as Facebook, Google Play, Grab, iTunes, Lazada and Skype. WorldKoin users can also transfer funds to PayPal or donate money to selected charity organisations.