AirAsia and Expedia Equal Share Joint Venture To Revolutionise Online Travel

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AirAsia Expedia Joint Venture: Group Photo

29 March 2011, Singapore – This morning, AirAsia and Expedia announced the first partnership of its kind gloablly between a low cost carrier, and an online travel agent.  Under this joint venture agreement, a new company will be formed to operate Expedia Inc’s Expedia branded businesses in Japan, India, Southeast Asia and other East Asian markets, as well as AirAsia’s AirAsiaGo and GoRooms businesses.   Riding on AirAsia’s local marketing expertise and Expedia’s technology and both companies’ travel products in the region and beyond, this joint venture will benefit consumers.

AirAsia’s branded website’s www.airasiago.com (launched 25 May 2010) and www.gorooms.com and Expedia Inc’s existing Expedia branded businesses in Japan www.expedia.co.jp, India www.expedia.co.in and Singapore www.expedia.com.sg along with new markets launched today in Malaysia www.expedia.com.my and www.expedia.co.th will be operated by this new joint venture.

AirAsia Expedia JV : Kathleen Tan, Regional Head of Commercial AirAsia

Kathleen Tan, Regional Head of Commercial, AirAsia

Expedia, Inc is the largest online travel company in the world, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes more than 90 localized Expedia.com and Hotels.com branded sites, US discount travel site Hotwire, agency hotel company Venere.com, Egencia, the world’s fifth largest corporate travel management company, world’s largest travel community TripAdvisor Media Network, destination activities provider ExpediaLocalExpert, luxury travel specialist classic Vacations, and China’s second largest booking site eLong.  Expedia Inc. has had 70 million unique visitiors and US$26 billion gross booking value in 2010 and localised websites in 20 countries.

Starting from its humble beginnings in 2002, AirAsia now has 104 aircraft flying to 75 destinations in 23 countries.  It now boasts more than 140 routes in its flight map.  AirAsia operates from 13 Hubs and has been strong in the social media arena.  Kathleen Tan, Regional Head of Commercial for AirAsia mentioned that AirAsia has beat Southwest airlines to become the world’s top Airline on Facebook.  AirAsia’s social media initiatives are also through Twitter, China’s Renren and Sina, and more recently Instagram.

Exclusive online third-party distribution rights in the region for AirAsia and AirAsiaX flights and travel packages will allow consumers to book their flights on AirAsia.com, AirAsiaGo.com and Expedia.   With over 130,000 hotels worldwide, a unique set of packages for Asian consumers at low rates will be available on both AirAsiaGo and Expedia sites.

AirAsia (comprising entities in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, AirAsia X and other joint venture airlines) and Expedia will also be partnering outside of the new venture to make Expedia the exclusive third party travel provider for AirAsia inventory allowing travellers to book AirAsia inventory on any of Expedia’s travel sites worldwide.

When asked when this new joint venture will be rolled out and available to consumers, Barry Diller, the Chairman and Senior Executive of Expedia Inc replied that he was not able to give a confirmed date but both organisations will be working on this to roll it out soon.  He added that over time, this will develop “into a most vibrant enterprise”.

 

AirAsia Expedia Joint Venture - Barry Diller, Chairman and Senior Executive of Expedia Inc

Barry Diller, Chairman and Senior Executive of Expedia Inc.

 

The rationale behind the joint venture is due to the potential to grow online travel consumption in the Asia Pacific region from 20%.  In America, 50% of the population make online travel bookings.  In the last 2 years, online bookings in the Asia Pacific region has grown 3 times faster than in any other region, and the growth has been over 50% each year.

Barry also added that the objective for this joint venture is to “provide greater range of travel to a wider audience at unparalleled value.”

Tony Fernandes and Barry Diller ink their partnership with their handprints

Tony Fernandes and Barry Diller ink their partnership with their handprints

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeNnRLknVI0

These were the prolific words of Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia that have been ingrained in my memory “Believe the unbelievable, dream the impossible, never take no for an answer.”

 

AirAsia Expedia Joint Venture: Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia

Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02m8pPLBFWU

You can enjoy hotel discounts of up to 80% in 10 Asian cities for three days beginning today (29 March) and Expedia will be launching its new Malaysian site www.expedia.com.my and Thai site www.expedia.co.th with a two week sale period offering discounts of up to 60% on South-East Asian destinations.

 

 

 

 

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