AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes confirmed rumours that the company was getting into the e-hailing business, the Malay Mail said citing a report by The Edge. With most of its planes grounded, the low-cost airline has been aggressively branching out into different industries.
Fernandes declined to give a launch date, but doesn’t think it’s too late to enter the e-hailing market, citing AirAsia’s own success in the past.
“We didn’t launch our ride hailing service at the beginning of COVID-19, we launched it at the end. The market wants competition. When we bought AirAsia with two planes, Malaysia Airlines had a 98 per cent market share or maybe more,” he reportedly said.
He also noted that Grab had paved the way, allowing AirAsia to enter the industry by learning from its model.
“I’ve got eight years of Grab doing it to learn from. I don’t have to waste all that money, with experimentation, building technology, training drivers and training the market how to order… they have done it all for me,” he said.
Fernandes named logistics as the main focus of AirAsia’s digital transformation, saying that the company wants to be “the best delivery guy in town” as opposed to just excelling in food delivery. Last month, Fernandes announced that airasia food, the firm’s food delivery arm, would be expanding to Singapore.
With its core business stuck in a rough patch, AirAsia has embarked on a variety of ventures to compensate and adapt to the new normal. Some of these ventures are odder than others – including a search for a “virtual idol”, or a streamer who will only appear as a digital avatar.