AirAsia Defends SuperApp’s Ability To Sell Flights From Any Airlines

AirAsia Pocket superapp

AirAsia’s acting CEO Mohamad Hafidz Mohd Fadzil clarified that the company’s SuperApp (aka “airasia SuperApp”) is authorised to sell flights from any airline on its online travel agency (OTA) platform. The issued comment by the Capital A-owned airline arrives not long after the spat between Transport Minister Anthony Loke and predecessor Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong over airfare discrepancies earlier this week. During a press conference held on Monday 17 April 2023, the former remarked that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) did not authorise AirAsia to sell tickets on its platform.

Responding to Loke’s statement, Hafidz explained via an official statement issued today that on top of holding a travel agent licence, the company’s SuperApp is also an accredited International Air Transport Association (IATA) agent, therefore allowed to sell flight tickets from airline partners since its debut back in 2020. Its flight inventories come from both established partner aggregators as well as direct airline partners which is a common OTA industry practice, he added.

“We have world-renowned airline brands such as Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Air New Zealand, Citilink, KLM, Air France, Bangkok Airways and many others as our direct airline partners offering their flights on the airasia SuperApp OTA platform,” the acting CEO said. “Our database of over 72 million, one of the largest of any platform, allows our airline partners to reach a wider audience.”

airasia defends superapp sell flights from any airlines
Image: AirAsia

In regards to Malaysia Airline flight tickets displayed on the SuperApp, Hafidz elaborated that the listings as well as flight fares and fare class information were taken from inventories supplied by the company’s established partner aggregators without any intervention from the app. “We continue to call on MAS and other airlines to partner directly with the airasia SuperApp to achieve better efficiency and performance, and will be happy to move our conversation forward on working together to offer Malaysians the best value when it comes to travel, and win together,” he added.

Loke’s press conference on Tuesday also mentioned an ongoing dispute between Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia but did not detail it further, saying that the matter “is between the two companies.” In the same statement issued today, the AirAsia acting CEO clarified that the legal action that MAS has taken against the company is premised on allegations of potential trademark infringement and passing off, and is not related to the supply of inventory.

AirAsia SuperApp
Image: AirAsia

Unfortunately for the low-cost carrier and app operator, further complicating matters is fellow local low-cost airline Batik Air, which had reportedly stated that it had not consented to allowing its services offered on the airasia SuperApp. According to The Edge, the Lion Air-owned subsidiary has demanded the immediate removal of all unauthorised products and services offered by the group and Super Air Jet from the app, or face legal actions in accordance with the laws of Malaysia. So far, neither Capital A or AirAsia has commented regarding Batik Air’s injunction.

(Source: AirAsia [press release])

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