AirAsia teams up with Plug and Play to find the best startups

 AirAsia announced a partnership with Plug and Play Tech Center, a global startup innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley.

AirAsia will work as an anchor partner of Plug and Play’s Travel and Hospitality programme to mentor new businesses and collaborate with emerging technologies.

This will allow AirAsia to identify, observe and support relevant startups as they develop new products and technologies for the travel sector.

AirAsia Deputy Group CEO (Digital, Transformation and Corporate Services) Aireen Omar said, “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 and transform AirAsia from an airline into a global digital company.”

Plug and Play Founder and CEO Saeed Amidi said, “We are here to help AirAsia engage with the most promising startups in the industry and bring new ideas into their business. Their expertise will be a great addition to our ecosystem and we welcome them to Silicon Valley.”

AirAsia is a pioneer in adopting new technologies to improve travel experience. The airline was one of the first to introduce SMS booking in 2003, followed by its website - which allowed flight booking, check-in and booking changes - and mobile app, which clinched the World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline Website and World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline App at the 2015 World Travel Awards.

At the airport, AirAsia was an early adopter of self-service kiosks that allow guests to check in, print their boarding pass and bag tags, and also introduced home bag tags and self-bag drop functions. Recently, AirAsia debuted its Fast Airport Clearance Experience System (FACES) facial recognition boarding gates, making it the first airline in Asia to be fully automated from check-in to boarding.

AirAsia has also invested heavily in digital services as it embarks on a transformation process to become a truly digital airline, including BigPay financial services app, ROKKI inflight entertainment and connectivity, AirAsia BIG Loyalty programme and RedBox logistics.

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