AirAsia Ride eHailing Service To Rival Grab?

AirAsia’s SuperApp expansion continues with the latest announcement of e-hailing service with AirAsia Ride. In its maiden launch event, the company claims the service will provide passengers greater convenience, more competitive prices, and better income opportunity for drivers.

The big question will be, can AirAsia take on incumbent Grab? Remember, this was also the local ehailing provider who chased away Uber a few years back to become the dominant player in Southeast Asia.  

Here’s what Tony Fernandes is offering to his customers if they chose to try out AirAsia ride, for a start passengers can get RM3 off their first ride by using a promo code which is offered from now till September. Users can book their ride from the AirAsia SuperApp under ‘ride’ with services currently available in the Klang Valley, with expansion to more cities in Malaysia planned throughout the year. 

According to Amanda Woo, CEO of airasia Super App Airasia ride inherits the same DNA of running a low cost model giving back the savings to the customers, this will be translated to the lowest fares on the road. By leveraging on rich data collected in the past 20 years, a complete user experience is presented to the passengers – pre flight, during flight and post flight.

Passengers will also be able to perform in-path booking for both their flights and pre-book their ride to the airport and even for their return journey at the same time, all within the convenience of one single itinerary and without having to leave the airasia Super App. Very soon, they will be able to use their BIG Points to pay for their rides added newly appointed CEO for the ehailing business Lim Chiew Shan.

At the moment, there are about 1,500 registered drivers and with nationwide expansion, AirAsia expect 5,000 more to come onboard in the next 6 months.

Learning from competitor’s shortcomings, the AirAsia ride will give drivers real-time info on passenger arrival, enabling drivers to have better time management and reducing waiting time giving the ability to make more trips and earn more income. Compatibly drivers can take 85% of the net fares (excluding toll charges), higher than what other ride hailing providers in the market. Fares are at an average of RM1 per kilometre, excluding toll charges, passengers are able to book on-demand rides, or even pre-book their rides in advance. A special feature that others currently do not offer.

Its about time, Grab faces a strong challenge on its monopoly in the ehailing sector, the dominance has created a arrogant behaviour by the tech giant with many users and drivers complaining on the lack of support and empathy. Drivers have complained on the unfair commission split, users have been disgruntling for the lack of option and cant compare trip prices and f&B retailers struggling to make ends meet due to high charges imposed.

AirAsia has a strong potential in this space as long as the company does not get distracted after air travelling resumes and moves it attention back to its core business.

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