The Strategist

Malaysia's AirAsia to launch flying taxi business in 2022

03/08/2021 - 02:58

Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia intends to launch flying taxis as a new business line in 2022, Tony Fernandes, co-founder and CEO of AirAsia Group Berhad, which owns the carrier, told to Bloomberg.

Fernandes estimated that the new service would be launched in about a year and a half. The flying cars will have at least four seats and will operate like a quadcopter, the CEO said.

Fernandez did not give details of the planned service, nor did he disclose the cost of launching the new business and the cost of transportation. Fernandes also did not specify who would be the supplier of the flying machines for the service.

AirAsia began to develop digital services last year by launching a "super application" combining travel, shopping, logistics and financial services, Bloomberg told. Fernandez said the airline industry crisis was seen by the company as a "once-in-a-lifetime chance to change the business and look at things anew". 

In April 2020, AirAsia intends to launch its own ground taxi booking services. In addition, the company wants to create a drone delivery service. To do so, it has entered into an agreement with the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre, a government agency.

Fernandes is also optimistic about his company's traditional business. He expects that as the coronavirus vaccination is going on, air travel will recover. The top manager believes travel within Malaysia will resume in the next two to three weeks and international travel will start in July or August.

In 2020, AirAsia offered customers "unlimited tickets" on which people could travel as much as they wanted for several months. The airline's chief executive said it had managed to sell more than 200,000 such tickets, each costing about $100.