AirAsia SuperApp offers new subscription promotion for flights and food delivery
Subscriptions are relatively hot in travel, although AirAsia’s new limited plan could be seen as a sign of weakness rather than strength. AirAsia Super+ is essentially a marketing plan to revive the airline’s flight and food delivery business.
AirAsia, which is pursuing a superapp strategy in Southeast Asia, has started selling a new subscription plan for flights and food delivery to customers in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
However, AirAsia, which recently rebranded as Capital A, is limiting the new Super+ subscription plan to a maximum of 200,000 subscribers who are expected to sign up by April 2. The new subscription plan replaces the airline’s previous subscriptions for “unlimited” flights, according to a published report.
For travel from April 11, 2022 to April 10, 2023, passengers from these countries who become subscribers would be eligible for AirAsia’s domestic and international flights on all of its airlines without having to pay base fares. They would also be eligible for Covid flight insurance cover for flight cancellations when they are diagnosed positive three to seven days before their scheduled flights depart.
Passengers will still have to pay “government taxes and fees, surcharges and other applicable fees,” the airline said as part of its announcement of the plan on Monday.
There are also a large number of blackout dates where ‘free’ flights would not be available.
Subscribers would not have to pay food delivery costs in all countries where AirAsia offers the service, the airline and superapp company said.
AirAsia said it would limit the number of subscribers to its new Super+ plan to 200,000 until April 2, 2022. Annual subscriptions would range from $125 to $160 in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines in local currencies.
The plan came as AirAsia Group, which was recently rebranded as Capital A, attempts to transition beyond aviation and become a lifestyle business as well. The program appears to be designed to revive the airline’s flights as parts of Asia begin to reopen after the coronavirus border closures.
Capital A recently announced a deal to add 100 electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft for AirAsia Ride in Malaysia, and its digital business recently generated the majority of revenue because flight capacity was so limited.
Airlines – or lifestyle companies, that is – and reservation companies have already operated subscription services. In the online travel agency sector, the most notable recent example is Spain’s eDreams Odigeo, which reported having 2.4 million subscribers to its flight and hotel subscription business as of the end of 2021.
Subscription costs for eDreams Prime appear to be considerably lower than AirAsia’s plan, and they are not limited to a few hundred thousand subscribers. eDreams Prime offers flight and hotel discounts while AirAsia offers free flights, although subscribers still have to pay taxes and fees.
Unlike eDreams Odigeo, however, Capital A operates multiple airlines, which could give it advantages.
AirAsia’s Super+ plan is currently expected to be good for flights from its limited subscriber base until April 10, 2023, although the company promises more to come.
“Subscribers can expect more benefits across the entire Airasia ecosystem which will then be added as part of this subscription, including discounts on Airasia Ride, Airasia Xpress (delivery), SNAP (flight packages and hotel), hotels and more,” the company said.
“We are proud to be the only super app on the market able to offer this one-of-a-kind subscription plan that includes both travel and lifestyle products and services, clearly positioning us as the provider favorite in the area,” Amanda said. Woo, CEO of AirAsia’s super app in a statement.
AirAsia announced the Super+ sound during a press briefing on Monday.