Expedia and AirAsia have signed an equal deal which they hope will enable them to tap into the emerging market for online travel bookings in the Asia-Pacific region. At present, the use on online travel agents is relatively low, but AirAsia’s CEO, Tony Fernandes, predicts an explosion. He added that now was the perfect time to start offering reliable, high quality services to customers in markets where the economy is booming.
The $20 million deal will capitalise on both company’s strengths. Expedia is the largest online travel agent in the world and AirAsia the biggest budget airline group in Asia. Expedia Asia-Pacific is a new company which has been set up to serve businesses in India, Japan East Asia and the countries of South East Asia.
Customers wishing to fly with AirAsia and AirAsia X, as well as book packages through the airline will now be able to do so through the airline’s websites or through Expedia almost exclusively. This includes flights with Thai AirAsia, AirAsia Malaysia and AirAsia Indonesia.
Chairman of Expedia, Barry Diller, said the collaboration would give the firm’s customers greater access to a range of destinations throughout the Asia-Pacific at a time when interest in travel to the region was growing quickly.
Every month, Expedia claims to have around 70 million visitors to its website. It offers a wide range of products and services including access to hotel rooms, car hire firms and package holiday deals. AirAsia flies to 75 destinations in Europe, Australia and Asia.