[Updated February 19 2021]
Even though lockdowns have been eased in many countries, airlines around the world are still struggling.
This has led to many airlines innovating and pivoting to different business models. For example, Singapore Airlines started restaurant services in its airplanes and conducted behind-the-scenes tours at its training facility.
Like many airlines, budget carrier AirAsia also ventured into a new vertical — food delivery — with AirAsia food.
Sabrina Khaw, head of AirAsia food, told The Straits Times that the airline pivoted towards food delivery after noticing that food delivery platforms in Malaysia were charging “exorbitant commission rates”.
AirAsia food runs on a zero-commission model, and merchants can choose from flat-rate plans powering payment and delivery.
The Malaysian-based airline officially began AirAsia food’s operations in May 2020. According to the carrier, it had served 500 restaurants and delivered close to 15,000 orders within three months of its operation.
Now, the delivery service is looking to start operations in Singapore, and will launch next month.
Entering Singapore’s Crowded Food Delivery Industry
On Wednesday (February 17), AirAsia’s chief executive Tony Fernandes announced on LinkedIn that AirAsia food would be coming to Singapore “with a roar”.
Even though AirAsia food started almost a year ago in Malaysia, Singapore will be its first overseas foray.
This means that it would have to compete with food delivery giants like Foodpanda, Deliveroo and GrabFood, as well as smaller players like WhyQ and Pickupp.
Despite the foreseeable challenges, Tony said that he is confident that AirAsia food would do well in Singapore.
“It took me seven years to get approval to fly to Singapore, but better late than never. So I’d say, we’re way ahead of schedule on food. I’m sure we (are) going to get a great welcome,” he told The Straits Times.
He also mentioned that interested merchants can now sign up with AirAsia via e-mail.
“As a disruptive leader, we’re ready to take on the new challenge in Singapore, providing value, simplicity and inclusivity for everyone,” he said.
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