AirAsia Challenges Traveloka, Gojek, and Grab by Developing a SuperApp
An airline company, AirAsia will launch a super application (super-app) next month. The corporation based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will become a competitor to Traveloka, Gojek, and Grab. AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said his company would first launch hotel and airline ticket reservations.
The company hooked up with Kiwi.com last month, and added a multi-city feature for booking tickets on AirAsia.com. This new feature allows users to book flight tickets to various domestic destinations in Indonesia with one click.
“I want to become Traveloka, which in my opinion is a great company even though they kicked AirAsia (from the platform),” said Tony during a conversation with former Minister of Trade Gita Wirjawan uploaded on his YouTube account, last Monday (21/9).
AirAsia Permanently Ends the Partnership with Traveloka
AirAsia services did disappear from the Traveloka platform at the beginning of last year. The airline also decided to permanently stop selling its flight tickets through the application made by the Indonesian unicorn.
Now, the company is developing the AirAsia platform which will be able to sell plane tickets from other airlines such as Qatar Air and Turkish Airlines. “I said, ‘we deserve better than getting kicked. So let’s open this platform’,” he said.
The company also partnered with Agoda to provide hotel reservation services. However, AirAsia stopped working with Expedia, and focused on developing AirAsia.com. In addition, AirAsia wants to develop other products, namely logistics that support the delivery of e-commerce goods. Gojek and Grab first provided similar services through GoSend and GrabExpress.
AirAsia will rely on cargo company Teleport Indonesia, which was hooked up last May to enter the logistics market. “E-commerce is about logistics,” he said. McKinsey predicted that there will be 1.6 billion packages sent for transactions in e-commerce in 2022. The number could increase again, given that e-commerce services are increasingly in demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the Pandemic, Consumer Activity in e-Commerce Increased
Based on AppsFlyer’s report entitled ‘The State of Shopping App Marketing 2020 Edition’, Indonesian consumers spending time on e-commerce platforms increased by 70% during February-June. In addition, Facebook and Bain & Company estimate that the value of online shopping transactions in Indonesia is nearly US$ 72 billion or around IDR 1,047.6 trillion in 2025.
This figure is higher than the initial projection of US$ 48 billion. The projected value of online shopping transactions will jump to US$ 147 billion in Southeast Asia by 2025. This figure is also an increase compared to the initial prediction of only US$ 120 billion.
Tony will also explore food delivery services, which have been provided by Gojek and Grab through GoFood and GrabFood. However, AirAsia does not want to explore delivery or ride-hailing services such as online taxis and motorcycle taxis.
Companies Focuses on Being Aggregators
The company will focus on being an aggregator, comparing the prices of ride-sharing services from other corporations. “We will not start this service. Can lose money very quickly,” said Tony. In addition, he said he would offer a better partnership scheme with merchant partners. He considered that many food delivery platforms treat partners and consumers differently.
Tony gave an example, Grab got data and commissions from every transaction. “I want to change it and flatten it,” he said. However, he did not specify the partnership scheme that would be implemented.
In addition, Tony wants to provide digital platform-based health services. AirAsia will compete again with Gojek and Grab which provide similar services through GoMed and GrabHealth. The two decacorns are working with health startups, namely Halodoc and Good Doctor.
Former Minister of Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) Rudiantara said that digital health services are very potential. Moreover, the government is committed to spending 5% of the state budget (APBN) for the health sector.