AirAsia Group Berhad is banking on the digital business to help its airline operations recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a briefing on Thursday, AirAsia Group Executive Chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said the airline group expects its digital segment to become “another core business.”

AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Anthony Francis “Tony” Fernandes said they are already “making money” from their digital offerings.

“I think our destination will still be in (airline) operations. The frequency may not be as great initially. We don’t know what the post-COVID world is going to look like, but if you look at domestic, that’s a great snapshot. We are launching a new route next week. Not many airlines are launching new routes,” he explained.

He also noted that business, intercontinental, or  first-class travel may take longer to recover.

The group formally introduced its new app, AirAsia Digital, on Thursday.

“AirAsia Digital leverages the Group’s physical and digital assets to create an ecosystem of businesses that connect with our customers in their everyday life, transforming the AirAsia brand into a fully fledged digital company — now much more than just an airline,” it said in a statement.

The app is intended to develop, incubate, and accelerate companies “that have the potential to maximize revenue or generate new revenue streams sustainably, better manage costs through increased efficiencies and productivity, or enhance the customers’ experience.” — Arjay L. Balinbin