From a low cost carrier to a digital airline, and now Malaysia-based AirAsia aims to become a travel tech company, teaming up with Google Cloud, the search giant’s cloud computing platform, to accomplish that.
The collaboration will see the airline integrating the platform’s machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) into every aspect of its business and culture as part of the transformation.
Both parties will cooperate to address high-impact business challenges including:
- Drive better demand forecasting and more targeted marketing.
- Improve customer experience and loyalty by providing a more personalised experience for its customers.
- Maximise operational efficiency and reduce risk through predictive maintenance, real-time weather forecasting and crew optimisation.
The airline’s technical team will get the chance to work with Google Cloud engineers to solve business problems while gaining a solid foundation in AI with Google Cloud’s TensorFlow and Cloud Machine Learning Engine. It can also enroll in the same programme Google Cloud uses to train its engineers, allowing the airline to build on its own internal machine learning expertise.
To transform its work culture AirAsia will deploy Google Cloud’s G Suite and Chrome Enterprise, creating “an agile digital experience” that will provide access to data and analysis when and where they are needed for swift decision-making.
Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, AirAsia group chief executive officer, said the airline has been at the forefront of adopting new digital technologies since its inception in 2011.
“We are now in our next phase of development where we are expanding beyond air transport, and digitalising our operations and processes to become more efficient. Google Cloud enables us to make full use of the data we own, opening up new opportunities and enabling us to build new businesses.”
He added the company has a “huge amount of data” it has collected over the last 17 years
Fernandes disclosed the airline is building two big platforms. One is airasia.com, a one-stop digital travel platform where customers can book flights, accommodation, tours, ground transport and entertainment.
The other is biglife.com that Fernandes claimed “will be like Kayak, TripAdvisor, Groupon and eBay rolled into one”.
Big Life will incorporate all the investments under the airline’s digital arm Redbeat Ventures such as money app Big Pay, in-flight connectivity platform ROKKI, online marketplace Outshop and logistics services Redbox and Red Cargo.
“Both platforms will help drive more business into AirAsia with the help of data,” added Fernandes.
Diane Greene, Google Cloud chief executive officer, noted that AirAsia started with G Suite to transform the way its organisation works. “Now, with our advanced analytics platform and machine learning services, AirAsia will be able to digitise every aspect of its business to better serve its customers.”
• Featured image credit (AirAsia A320 neo aircraft): AirAsia
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