AirAsia’s founder Tony Fernandes announces that he is going to create the region’s next “super app” as he deals with the coronavirus travel downturn.
BBC reported that he wants to create anall-in-one app for food delivery, shopping, payments, entertainment, and travel.
The airline’s founder said that he is finding ways to make money while his planes were grounded.
Mr. Fernandes said in an interview that he has spent his time during the travel slump improving the AirAsia app and BigPay.
“The downturn was a blessing in disguise in some ways as it allowed us to focus more on it. Running an airline takes up a lot of our time but we have been given the opportunity and time to focus on our digital business.”
AirAsia has a “rich database” of over 60 million users as its starting point. However, the company has dealt with a 30% cut of its staff during the pandemic.
AirAsia app offers a messaging service. It is likely to be upgraded to super apps like Singapore-based Grab, Indonesia’s GoJek, and China’s Meituan.
“AirAsia has always been a digital company. We were one of the first airlines to sell online. It’s in our bloodstream,” added Mr. Fernandes, who is also a major shareholder of English football club Queen’s Park Rangers (QPR).
“I know a super app sounds like a lofty target but Grab and GoJek also started out small as food or mobility apps. Plus people also questioned me the same way when I said I wanted to start AirAsia.”