Another one joins the race.
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The aviation industry has been hit hard since the pandemic began as international and domestic air travel were grounded for long stretches of time.
Since then, AirAsia has focused on pivoting into the digital sphere armed with their experience in logistics, first by moving into food delivery service, and soon into e-hailing.
In an interview with The Edge, AirAsia Group Bhd co-founder and group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes confirmed that the company is looking to expand into the e-hailing industry.
He appears unfazed by current market giants such as Grab, claiming that the market wants competition. He also states that he isn’t afraid of starting small, since Malaysian Airlines owned 98% of the market share when he first bought AirAsia with only two planes.
Additionally, he notes that thanks to Grab’s years of operating in the country, Malaysians are already fully familiar with the e-hailing experience and no additional resource needs to go into experimentation, building technology, training drivers, and educating the market.
After all, in a span of less than a decade, Malaysian went from flagging down taxis by the side of the road to ordering a Grab via our smartphones and feel perfectly comfortable doing so.
Instead, Tony plans to bring in AirAsia’s experience in logistics to become the best at what they do.
The reason why we are starting our own e-hailing and food delivery service is to enable us to build an infrastructure where we can offer the cheapest delivery.Tony Fernandes to The Edge
AirAsia’s new entry could be a welcome addition as Grab is dominating the e-hailing market at the moment ever since Uber merged with Grab in Southeast Asia back in 2018.
Other than Grab, there are similar services like MyCar, EzCab, Dacsee, Riding Pink, and MULA. However, the long-awaited Indonesia-based e-hailing service Gojek is still under discussion on the feasibility of introducing the service in Malaysia.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.