Last month, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes announced on LinkedIn that the airline's food delivery arm, AirAsia Food, would be coming to Singapore "with a roar".
AirAsia was first launched in Malaysia in May 2020 and is finally joining the Singapore grocery delivery market today (March 2nd).
The expansion into Singapore – the first overseas stay – is part of the company's efforts to seek alternative sources of income as the aviation sector remains badly hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the launch of the AirAsia restaurant, there will be about 80 restaurants including the Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant, Seafood Without a Sign, The Shepherd's Pie, Maki-san, Pizza Express and more.
Around 300 more restaurants will also be brought to the platform.
It promises to deliver food orders within 60 minutes. AirAsia acknowledged that an hour delivery time was long and tried to shorten it over time.
Lower costs for consumers
In a virtual press conference today, Fernandes said that AirAsia Food aims to get better value by offering low-cost options, much like the low-cost airline's mantra.
On the one hand, the restaurants platform charges a commission of 15 percent per delivery.
It's lower than the three big grocery companies GrabFood, foodpanda, and Deliveroo, which are between 25 and 35 percent. AirAsia argued that their lower commission will translate into lower fees for customers.
In addition, the delivery fee is charged five percent lower.
To spark interest in this new service, AirAsia Food is offering unlimited free food delivery through March 16. This applies to deliveries within 8 km from the order point.
With every order, customers can collect reward points that can be used on AirAsia flights.
Finally, AirAsia will not offer a map function in the app. While this means customers cannot track the location of their delivery driver, AirAsia ensures that they can still chat with them in the app to find out the status of their delivery.
Mr. Fernandes sees this "card" feature – which is present in his competitors' apps – as "unnecessary bells and whistles" that can help them cut costs.
Beyond Singapore, AirAsia plans to expand to Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines in the second half of 2021.
Image credit: AirAsia