Tony Fernandes has gone viral from posting a picture of himself next to an AirAsia delivery bike.
It’s gotten customers riled up to try out the service themselves, just to catch a glimpse of “Uncle Tony”.
Though he’ll only be starting his delivery rounds between December 1 till Christmas, I wanted to test out how the microsite on AirAsia’s super app fared.
I Entrusted My Lunch To It
AirAsia food was actually launched in May this year to help support local and small F&B businesses during the pandemic.
Where AirAsia food differs from their competitors is by offering a zero percent commission to merchants who sign up with its delivery services.
The platform also covers a 60km radius within its final delivery destination. If you fall within 20km of the restaurant, delivery charges are free.
This explains why I could get my lunch from SS15 back to my place in PJ with no delivery fees, while I couldn’t with Grab’s 10km radius delivery.
It also made clear why I was seeing a completely different set of merchants on AirAsia food than I usually do on Grab.
AirAsia food works exactly like Grab, but with a few UI differences like listing each individual variation of an item in its own row.
If you wanted to add more quantities of the same order, a menu will slide up from the bottom of the screen.
This is in contrast to Grab taking you to a new page to make your order.
You’ll have the option to pay with BigPay or a credit card. You can also use your AirAsia BIG Points to reduce the fee.
The platform also has an option to send this order as a gift to a different address.
Unlike Grab, you won’t be able to track your orders via moving rider icon on a map as your driver makes their way to you.
However, they will send you live updates via Whatsapp messages when your driver has reached the restaurant, or is making their way to you.
Something interesting happened when I received my food though. My delivery guy came on a Grab bike.
He said that he worked for Grab full-time and does AirAsia deliveries on the side.
Then he showed me how he had to confirm the orders on both his Grab and AirAsia apps.
I was curious to see if my Grab app reflected this transaction, but it showed no records.
Confused, we reached out to the folks at AirAsia to clarify whether they’re outsourcing their fleet for food deliveries.
So this leads me to conclude that my experience with the Grab rider may have just been a one-off case from a hustler who works for both fleets.
They’ve Got A Finger In Every Pie
Since 2018, AirAsia has delved into the e-commerce realm with OURSHOP.
The “Shop” tab is where you’ll find non-perishables and products from the airport’s duty-free stores at discounted prices.
Upon making purchases online, you can choose to have your products collected onboard AirAsia flights or at the airport.
Since the MCO in March, the platform introduced home delivery products to support local SMEs through their campaign, Save Our Shops (S.O.S).
Also managed by Teleport, local deliveries can be received within 1-5 working days.
Next-day deliveries are available for orders made before 6PM in the Klang Valley.
In June, AirAsia also launched their very own e-grocer which can be found under the “Fresh” tab in the app.
The e-grocer is where customers and F&B businesses can buy fresh produce in bulk from AirAsia’s agriculture arm, Ourfarm, which hired previously retrenched employees from the airline.
The “Health” tab is where you’ll find packages at a greatly discounted price for treatments in the fields of Aesthetics, Screenings, Wellness, and Fertility.
Depending on where you’re located, you can browse and connect with specialists and health institutions across the SEA.
Because my location was set up in Malaysia, I could only view the available ones in KL, Selangor and Penang.
Under the “Unlimited Deals” tab, you’ll see a consolidation of all the packages and deals available.
It ranges from a wide spectrum, like drinks at The Alley to massages and hotel deals at a discounted rate.
Much like Fave, you’ll be buying these packages as vouchers to redeem at a later date.
A Super App Indeed
At the end of the day, AirAsia started in the travel industry and their app has plenty of features to reflect that too.
Flights, hotels, and activities around SEA can all be purchased on the app for you to essentially plan your whole trip from your phone.
Because you’ll be paying booking fees, AirAsia’s partnership with BigPay makes for seamless transactions without the hassle of forex between countries.
Before trying the app out myself, I had my doubts about its claims of being Asia’s next super app.
But after trying it out, I’m impressed with their abilities to combine the features of many other popular, familiar apps.
I don’t think AirAsia’s super app would diminish the need for Grab’s super app, as they both still offer features the other doesn’t have.
Therefore, I think AirAsia has actually found their own place in the market.
One does wonder how much more they have in store to keep the company afloat while the travel sector is on hold.
- You can read more about what we’ve written about AirAsia here, and learn more about AirAsia’s app here.
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Featured Image Credit: Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia