Regional low-cost airline AirAsia announced a partnership with Plug and Play Tech Center, a global startup innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley.
The airline will be a part of Plug and Play’s Travel and Hospitality programme to mentor new businesses and collaborate with emerging technologies. The partnership will also enable AirAsia to be on top of new products and tech released by start-ups.
"This partnership – the first of many to keep a finger on the pulse of innovation – will allow us to identify leading edge technologies that will help maintain our leadership in cost and customer experience,” said Aireen Omar, AirAsia deputy group CEO.
The collaboration is in line with the airline’s goal to become an asset-light, digitally focused entity.
“The biggest asset is our data,” founder Tony Fernandes told Reuters in an interview. “And we’re going to monetise that data over a series of joint ventures in three kinds of pools.”
The ventures include turning its loyalty programme points into a more formal currency through an initial coin offering, building a bigger logistics business, and growing its content offering.