Airasia is set to expand across Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing market with the launch of its new service Airasia Ride in Bangkok next month. The service will start with 5,000 taxis in Bangkok, before expanding to private drivers and other key cities.
This move comes after Airasia’s parent holding company Capital A suffered significant losses during COVID-19. Airasia Ride is seen as an aggressive attempt by the company to foray into non-aviation businesses.
Airasia Ride, which debuted in Kuala Lumpur last August, has seen monthly reservations in the six digits for its 30,000 active drivers. Since launch, average monthly ridership has increased by more than 60%, with almost 700,000 rides to date. Drivers earn 85% of net fares excluding tolls.
So far, ride-hailing has been dominated by Grab (Singapore) and Gojek (Indonesia). But with Airasia’s strong presence in the region, it is seen as a viable competitor. Airasia has also been aggressive in its pricing, offering fares that are cheaper than Grab.
“Airasia Ride inherits the DNA of running a low-cost model which enables savings to be passed on to guests and strives to offer the lowest fares on the road, introducing great value to the highly competitive e-hailing ecosystem,” Amanda Woo, CEO of Airasia Super App, said when the service was launched in KL last year. “This is part of our continuous digital transformation journey to become ASEAN’s top super app through our regional expansion into Thailand and potentially Indonesia very soon.”
In July, Airasia Group announced its acquisition of a 4.76% stake in Gojek for $50 million, valuing the Super App at around $1 billion. The agreement with Gojek will see Airasia Ride expand into Indonesia.
“What sets Airasia Ride apart from others in the market would be the unique insights and data that we have due to our position as a Super App that owns an airline, and have strong vertical products on e-commerce, fintech, logistics, and now e-hailing,” said Lim Chiew Shan, CEO of Airasia Ride Malaysia.
Apart from stepping up its ride-hailing game, Airasia Super App is also cashing in on post-pandemic recovery and the return of travel. The Super App is one of three leading online travel agencies (OTAs) in Southeast Asia, with over 100 million average page views monthly.
Currently, the Airasia Super App features four businesses: Airasia Food, Airasia Ride, Airasia Xpress and Airasia Grocer. Airasia is also in the middle of launching the Super App’s new feature: the e-wallet, which will be live by mid-April.