AirAsia partners with Plug & Play for tech space investment

AirAsia, the largest low-cost carrier group in Southeast Asia, has struck a partnership agreement with start-up innovation platform Plug & Play Tech Center to help scout the market for possible investments in the technology space.

Under the partnership, AirAsia will work as an “anchor partner” of Plug & Play’s Travel and Hospitality program to mentor new businesses and collaborate with emerging technologies.

This will allow AirAsia to identify, observe and support relevant start-ups as they develop new products and technologies for the travel sector.

“This partnership—the first of many to keep a finger on the pulse of innovation—will allow us to identify leading-edge technologies that will help maintain our leadership in cost and customer experience and transform AirAsia from an airline into a global-digital company,” AirAsia Deputy Group CEO Aireen Omar said in a statement.

The low-cost carrier group has been adopting new technologies over the past 15 years, introducing SMS, web and mobile booking methods from 2003 to date.

It is also an early adopter of self-service kiosks that allow guests to check in, print their boarding pass and bag tags, and also introduced home bag-tags and self bag-drop functions.

Recently, AirAsia debuted its Fast Airport Clearance Experience System facial-recognition boarding gates, making it the first airline in Asia to be fully automated from check-in to boarding.

AirAsia has also invested heavily in digital services, as it embarks on a transformation process to become a digital airline. These include financial services, mobile entertainment and connectivity, logistics and loyalty programs.

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