Expanding AirAsia’s Industry-Leading Super App to Increase Revenue with Bundled Flights & Hotels

We aspire to be more than an airline. Our objective is to have non-airline revenues account for at least half of our total revenues within the next 5 years. This project was critical because it obviously is an adjacent business and should be easy for us to have deeper penetration in this market. It was key for us to deliver this project on time and focus as we did. We will always be grateful for the project with Wizeline because I think it will pay off in the medium to long term.”

Pablo Sanz

Chief Technology Officer, AirAsia Super App

Executive Summary

Offering domestic and international flights to more than 165 destinations in 25 countries, AirAsia is the ASEAN region’s largest low-cost airline, headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In recent years, the company has expanded across travel, e-commerce, and fintech verticals to become ASEAN’s leading super app. In early 2020, AirAsia identified an opportunity to further expand the app with two additional services — hotel booking and bundling flights & hotels — that were previously served by a third-party, white-labeled application. 

To offer the services in-app with increased control over pricing and customization as well as deliver on an aggressive six-month timeframe, AirAsia joined hands with Wizeline to build two new applications using Agile methodologies and leveraging our extensive experience with the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Read more to discover how we helped the airline achieve its goal to become “more than an airline.”

The Opportunity

AirAsia wanted to create two new applications called Hotel and SNAP to expand its super app and replace the third-party application that had been serving customers and its two corresponding business lines until that point. The client specified that the Hotel application would need to provide a quick and convenient way to book your stay at any destination in the world, while the SNAP application would need to offer a speedy and easy way to book your entire journey with the cheapest flight and your favorite hotel in a snap. 

The result would bring customers a new way to fly, anchored in convenience and value. From a business perspective, the new solution would enable AirAsia to control product customization as well as the prices and deals they can offer.

Why Wizeline?

AirAsia needed a technology partner with mature, predictable development processes, and Wizeline fit the bill perfectly due to our innovation culture, ability to keep projects on-time and on-budget, and overall experience driving digital transformation for our customers. AirAsia and Wizeline’s shared approach and understanding of user experience unified the team in designing products focused on AirAsia’s customers and business needs.

The client also needed a partner in the same geography and time zone, so this project was led by Wizeline’s Vietnam office. Notably, Wizeline Vietnam has a track record of completing numerous Google Cloud Platform (GCP) projects with a high level of proficiency, making this team a great fit for AirAsia given its preference to host applications on GCP exclusively.

The work style was smooth, and the collaboration was amazing. We had points when we had to negotiate, but the team was agile and managed to adapt to our requirements. It was a very enriching project because our teams managed to learn a lot in the process. I attended the final wrap-up meeting with the Wizeline team - everyone was pleased but also a little bit sad that our engagement was ending.”

Pablo Sanz

Chief Technology Officer, AirAsia Super App

The Challenge

  • Switch from Progressive Web Application (PWA): Because of its low performance on smartphones, the AirAsia technical team wanted to stop using PWA for their apps. This decision meant that Wizeline had to build a total of four applications from scratch — two web applications and two mobile applications for both SNAP and Hotel.
  • Fixed timelines: The Wizeline team had tight deadlines: three months for the SNAP MVP to go live and six months for both SNAP and Hotel to be available in all supported regions. AirAsia had already invested in a product marketing campaign, so the deadlines weren’t flexible.
  • Integration with the existing app: The Hotel and SNAP applications had to be integrated into the existing AirAsia super app for iOS and Android.

Our Solution

  • Fast and stable releases: React and React Native were chosen as the core technologies in our solution stack. This combination helped us build the project fast to meet the deadline and provided comfortable stability to launch safely.
  • Reusable components: Product features were built on top of components and logic with reusability in mind, following Phoenix (AirAsia’s design system) from product management to development and quality assurance.

 

  • Robust and resilient architecture: Our approach to technical architecture and design enabled us to build stand-alone mobile applications during development and as isolated modules with interfaces to be integrated with the existing AirAsia super app. This helped to remove dependencies and enabled a faster and efficient feature development phase.

  • Ensured quality: The product’s quality was guaranteed by effective automated tests, reducing manual testing effort.

The Results: Over 2,000 Bookings in Four Hours

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic halting almost all international travel in 2020, Wizeline and AirAsia were able to successfully launch the apps and get big results in a short period of time as AirAsia tapped into its domestic travel market with innovative deals. It partnered with 5-star luxury hotels to offer attractively priced SNAP flight-and-hotel bundles via weekly flash sales. These sales were a hit, with over 2,000 bookings selling in just four hours.  

Interested in trying the apps out for yourself to see what AirAsia and Wizeline are capable of? Download the AirAsia super app or visit airasia.com today to explore how the Hotel and SNAP applications make it easy to book a more comprehensive travel experience.

We were very happy with the delivery. We did have to reduce the scope a bit to meet the delivery dates, but we moved very fast. We ended up delivering the cross-platform experience over that timeline. It’s tricky to measure success given COVID-19, but we achieved our technical KPIs. We also saw a very positive trend when we started doing promotional Wednesdays with partner hotels and saw an increase toward the end of 2020. We’re looking forward to a great rebound in travel demand as more people receive vaccinations across the region.”

Pablo Sanz

Chief Technology Officer, AirAsia Super App

Hotel web application – Desktop

Hotel native application – Mobile

 

SNAP web application – Desktop

SNAP native application – Mobile

About Wizeline

Wizeline is a software development and design services company with operations in the U.S., Mexico, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, and Spain. Wizeline partners with global enterprises and scaling startups to build end-to-end digital products. If you’d like to learn more, please visit www.wizeline.com or check out more case studies.


Share this case study