Last month, AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes announced on LinkedIn that the airline’s food delivery arm, AirAsia food, would be coming to Singapore “with a roar.” After starting in Malaysia in May 2020, AirAsia on Tuesday finally joined Singapore’s food delivery market.
Its expansion to Singapore—its first overseas foray—is part of the company’s efforts to seek alternative income sources as the aviation sector continues to be badly affected due to COVID-19. At launch, AirAsia food will feature about 80 restaurants, including Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant, No Signboard Seafood, The Shepherd’s Pie, Maki-san, and Pizza Express. About 300 other restaurants will be onboarded later.
It promises to deliver food orders within 60 minutes. Acknowledging that a one-hour delivery time is lengthy, AirAsia said that it will strive to shorten it over time. In a virtual press conference, Fernandes said that AirAsia food aims to give better value by offering low-cost options, much like the mantra of the budget airline. For one, the platform charges restaurants a 15% commission per delivery.
That is lower than the three major food delivery players GrabFood, foodpanda, and Deliveroo, which range between 25% and 35%. AirAsia reasoned that their lower commission rates will lead to lower charges for customers. Additionally, its delivery fee will also be charged 5% lower and customers can earn reward points that can be used for AirAsia flights.
To rack up interest in this new service, AirAsia food is offering unlimited free food delivery until March 16. This applies for deliveries within 8km from the order point. Users can order via airasia.com/food or the AirAsia mobile app, which is free for download on the Apple app store and Google Play.
AirAsia will not be offering a ‘maps’ feature in-app. While this means customers cannot track the location of their delivery rider, AirAsia assures that they can still chat with them in-app to find out the status of their delivery. Fernandes sees this ‘maps’ feature—which is present in its rivals’ apps—as an “unnecessary frill” that can help them to cut costs.
Beyond Singapore, AirAsia food has plans to expand into Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines in the second half of 2021.
This article was originally published by Vulcan Post.