On Tuesday, low-cost carrier AirAsia sold a record-breaking 41,000 seats in just one day. This marks AirAsia’s highest post-hibernation sale day since it resumed domestic flight services in May.
The official site hit an overall traffic growth of 170%. By the looks of it, the number will only increase going forward. Passengers are eager to fly again – whether to reunite with loved ones, for business purposes, or just to travel.
“We are encouraged by this positive trend, and we foresee this will continue in the coming weeks,” CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said in a statement sent to Simple Flying.
Bringing back domestic travel demand
According to a statement sent to Simple Flying, the most popular destinations booked on June 23rd were for the following routes:
- Malaysia: From Kota Kinabalu and Kuching to Kuala Lumpur
- Thailand: From Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Hat Yai
- Indonesia: From Jakarta to Denpasar and Medan
- Philippines: From Manila to Puerto Princesa and Davao
- India: From Delhi to Srinagar and from Bengaluru to Hyderabad
In Malaysia, the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) began on June 10th. The RMCO allows for the resumption of domestic travel. As such, all interstate travel has picked up since. AirAsia also introduced an ‘Unlimited Pass’ for those traveling within the state. Additionally, there is a 20% sale on all domestic flights in Malaysia, which undeniably led to the airline’s highest load factor post-hibernation.
AirAsia Group’s load factor hit 50%, with AirAsia Malaysia reaching a whopping 70%. Fernandes added,
“We continue to play our part to revive the domestic tourism industry by partnering directly with local hotels to offer hassle-free, best price guaranteed deals with bigger savings on SNAP, our flight + hotel combo booking platform. We remain true to our mantra – enabling everyone to fly through our great value fares.”
Keeping safety measures a priority
The airline has also focused on enhancing its safety and cleaning measures. On top of compulsory masks and social distancing measures, all cabin crew will don personal protective equipment (PPE) and wear masks and gloves. Cleaning measures are completed regularly for each aircraft.
Specifically for AirAsia Philippines, cabin crew must wear a newly designed PPE in AirAsia colors – complete with a face shield, mask, and gloves.
AirAsia introduced end-to-end contactless journeys for customers in May. With minimal contact needed, the airline hopes to keep its passengers’ minds at ease while going through the boarding and check-in process.
These initiatives began on May 13th and included contactless payments at the airport, a Passenger Reconciliation System (PRS) for digitized boarding passes, and enhanced features to its mobile app.
AirAsia recovers with ease
It seems that the Malaysian-based carrier handled the COVID-19 situation relatively well. Although it had to ground 96% of its fleet and halt Airbus deliveries, the airline has succeeded in enticing passengers with new promotions.
Furthermore, the airline implemented initiatives targeted at helping vulnerable communities amid the virus outbreak. Earlier this month, the airline gave away 50,000 tickets to frontline workers and doctors.
AirAsia’s uptick in sales shows that there is indeed a demand for domestic travel. Fernandes mentions the airline will increase its flight schedule to 50% of its pre-pandemic operations in the next few weeks.
“Currently, we are operating 152 daily flights across the region. We look forward to the reopening of international borders in recognition of the fact that air transport provides the connectivity that is essential for the resumption of economic activities and the global recovery efforts”, he added.
Once international borders reopen, there is no doubt the carrier will continue to have its sales numbers increase.
Were you one of the 41,000 who booked a flight with AirAsia on Tuesday? Are you eager to start flying again? Let us know in the comments.