Digitalisation Of Airasia Portfolio Companies Provide Robust Platform For Growth In The Future
Surge in cargo demand, shopping deliveries drive expansion during pandemic
As airasia’s rapid transformation into a digital travel and lifestyle group continues to gain strong momentum, the group’s engineering arm Asia Digital Engineering (ADE), ground handling division Ground Team Red (GTR) and logistics venture Teleport, are set to soar to new heights, leveraging the new technology revolution through digitisation and data.
AirAsia Group Berhad (AAGB) President, Aireen Omar, who oversees digital operations, said embracing the digital revolution and driving innovation is a core focus across the entire airasia portfolio of companies.
“While the pandemic has undoubtedly adversely affected our airline operations over the past 18 months, it has also reshaped consumer behaviour and we are really excited about the future of all of our digital businesses.
“We’re a group that continues to evolve based on consumer demand. A silver lining of Covid-19 has caused a huge surge in demand for cargo and online shopping deliveries and this is driving many new business opportunities and revenue streams. As a brand that has always had innovation in its DNA, we see huge potential, not only in our super app and fintech solutions, but also in our logistics, aircraft maintenance and ground services divisions.
“While our airasia Super App is already on track to become the platform of choice for everyday travel and lifestyle needs in Asean, ADE, is set to revolutionise the airline Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) industry in Asia, our logistics venture Teleport is experiencing significant growth in line with overwhelming demand for cargo and online deliveries and GTR is preparing for strong regional expansion including with third party airlines as soon as travel restrictions ease and international borders reopen.
“What we have built in a short period of time is a complete digital marketplace for travel and everyday lifestyle services on our airasia Super App. Logistics, aircraft maintenance, ground handling services and fintech are equally important to complete our ecosystem. They all work in tandem symbiotically, to meet increasing demand in the e-commerce and distribution space.
“What we now deliver is stronger competition and better value and choice for consumers' everyday needs, which is what the airasia brand is all about. Importantly, we are not just an airline anymore. Our goal is to become the most prefered, profitable and lowest cost digital distribution group in Southeast Asia and we believe we are on the right track to get there soon,” she said.
With state of the art infrastructure, superior quality services at the lowest cost with and fastest turnaround time for third party airlines as well as for AirAsia airlines, ADE is gearing up for a major resurgence in the post pandemic world.
ADE performed and completed Teleport’s first A320 cargo plane conversion earlier this year and expects more aircraft modifications of passenger to cargo aircraft in the future as regional demand for delivery continues to soar. The MRO business division has been conducting base maintenance checks since June and has completed its first wifi installation on an AirAsia aircraft. Wireless connectivity will be rolled out progressively across the fleet in the near future as AirAsia and airlines worldwide move towards delivering fully digital inflight experiences.
“The Southeast Asia aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) market alone was valued at over USD 4 billion in 2020 and the industry is expected to rebound very fast when things return to the new normal. Over the past few decades, leading MRO providers in the region, including in Malaysia and Singapore, have established themselves as dominant providers in the industry, positioning Southeast Asia as an important hub for aircraft MRO globally.
“With an experienced workforce of more than 15 years managing AirAsia’s fleet, strong supplier, lessor and regulatory relationships and through industry leading automation and streamlined operations, we foresee that ADE will soon become the next major MRO player in Asean, delivering a significant new revenue stream for airasia Group.”
Teleport, which was launched in 2018, has experienced strong growth off the back of the burgeoning digital economy and has recently refocused its strategy with the introduction of cargo only flights. Two modified former A320 passenger jets and a dedicated freighter aircraft will serve to bolster Teleport’s ability to meet the region’s rapidly increasing demand for deliveries.
“With direct access to the unrivalled Airasia Group network in Southeast Asia, best in class technology and a commitment to enabling last mile, door to door commerce anywhere in Asean within 24 hours, Teleport has put in place the right foundations to truly disrupt the cargo industry in Asean.
“Furthermore, Teleport’s partnership with Freightchain, the world’s first digital air cargo network running on blockchain, is a game changer for Teleport and the industry, making the online booking process as easy as buying a flight ticket on AirAsia. Importantly it also links AirAsia airlines with other innovative interline partners to ensure maximum efficiency and lowest cost for clients,” she said.
As a testament to the company's goal to shift from a pure air freight logistics provider to a complete multi-modal operator, Teleport's recent acquisition of Delivereat has also helped accelerate its network expansion and growing the fleet of riders. That, along with the use of SmartKargo in the company’s operations - an all in one digital system for cargo management which provides a seamless end to end tracking system - helps propel Teleport’s air cargo business forward.
To feed into AirAsia’s logistics and distribution ecosystem, GTR has embraced digitisation initiatives across the process pipeline to enhance air cargo movements, communication exchanges and logistics processes in and between its KLIA Cargo Terminal and AirAsia’s aircraft. GTR will continue its efforts to support and supplement the Group’s ecosystem by working hand in hand with other AirAsia affiliate airlines while expanding its range of services and capabilities including across other airlines.
“Similar to our super app ambitions, alongside ADE and Teleport, GTR aims to be the ground handling services provider of choice in Asean and with the easing of movement restrictions and return of air travel globally, GTR is anticipating more business collaborations with foreign airlines in major airports across Malaysia, further delivering service excellence and superior Asean hospitality to its business partners and travelling guests.”
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