‘AN online travel agency (OTA) on steroids.”
This was how AirAsia Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes described the rebranding of the carrier’s Superapp to airasia MOVE, as it establishes a travel business separate from its airline.
In an email to customers on Monday, Fernandes said, “During Covid, we were reinventing ourselves, and we thought we could make our Superapp much more than just selling AirAsia tickets. So today, we announced airasia Superapp becomes airasia MOVE, an OTA plus-plus-plus….”
He added, “It’s kind of built by people who have been traveling for the last 22 years. So it’s just not flights and hotels, but it’s ecommerce. It’s rides around the destination you are. It is helping you get the best value in food and shopping, and also trying to use AI [artificial intelligence] to make sure you don’t make mistakes and waste money by making the best choices.”
The new features on airasia MOVE will be rolled out in the “next six months,” he said. “On top of providing great value, we’re also going to provide you services to save money for your hotel and save money for your whole holiday. And also to give you some loans to help you make that dream come true. And finally, everything you spend collects points, which helps you to save money for your future trips,” Fernandes said.
Just recently, Capital A announced a collaboration with UnionDigital Bank, a subsidiary of Union Bank of the Philippines across three of the former’s key units—AirAsia, airasia Superapp (now airasia MOVE), and BigPay, its financial technology arm.
Under the partnership, UnionDigital will provide embedded finance to BigPay within the airasia Superapp, the main booking platform of AirAsia flights in the Philippines. This will allow BigPay, a leading mobile wallet in Malaysia and Singapore, to expand in the Philippine market, making its financial services more accessible to Filipinos.
“For Capital A, the vision has always been to provide low cost, best value services, connecting people and realizing dreams, for people of Asean and beyond. With UnionDigital as our proud partner, we are now on our way to create a future where travel meets innovative financial solutions that facilitate everyone’s dream journeys with unparalleled ease. We look forward to working with UnionDigital to redefine travel coupled with fintech as an accessible and enriching experience,” said Fernandes, also CEO of Capital A, at the APEC Business Advisory Council meeting news briefing in Cebu on July 30.
He noted that “7 out of 10 of our customers in the Philippines save up for their travel plans, carefully budgeting to ensure they can explore the world comfortably. It is this inspiring dedication that fuels our determination to break down barriers and create a more connected and inclusive global community.”
With the rebranding is the change in the Superapp’s color from red to “‘action green’. It marks a jubilant ‘Independence Day’ for our travel platform business from its airline partner, AirAsia,” he said, dubbing airasia MOVE as the “best travel companion.”
Fernades also encouraged the public to submit a tagline for airasia MOVE, promising the best tagline will be rewarded “one year’s worth of travel experiences.” As a way to encourage participants in the contest, he said he conceived AirAsia’s tagline Now Everyone Can Fly “while I was in the shower. Inspiration can come from anywhere.” Participants can check the carrier’s website or online platform for details.