14 June 2020
AirAsia Group Bhd has enhanced contactless procedures at the airport to deliver a more secure, safe, efficient, and contactless experience for travellers.
The low-cost carrier (LCC) said the additional enhancements demonstrate its continued commitment to keeping flying safe in the new normal environment for air travel.
AirAsia Malaysia chief executive officer Riad Asmat said the newly implemented contactless procedures for essential travel including payments at the airport, kiosks, passenger reconciliation system (PRS) as well as enhanced features on its mobile app.
“These enhancements ensure a smooth and safe travel experience. As we return to the skies, we have stepped up all precautionary measures to ensure our guests have a safe journey with us,” he told the New Straits Times recently.
He said AirAsia has been working closely with regulators, local governments, civil aviation and health authorities, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), while adhering to their expert advice.
“We have implemented the end-to-end contactless procedures and a series of new safety measures, as well as taking care of those most at risk to ensure the safety of all travelling guests.
“Therefore, this helps to build the confidence of our travellers to start flying again,” he said.
AirAsia’s contactless payments include Wave payments for AliPay and WeChat Pay at the second terminal of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (klia2).
It will also be extended to other airports gradually and payment options for BigPay and Touch N Go will be available soon.
Contactless kiosks are also available at all operating airports across Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Japan, where guests making their essential travel can print their boarding pass and baggage tag after checking-in online on airasia.com or through the mobile app.
PRS, which is now available at klia2 and will be made available at other airports in Malaysia where AirAsia operates. The PRS entails no boarding pass exchange between guests and aviation security as guests only need to scan them instead.
The LCC has digitised the boarding process by scanning all boarding passes at the boarding gate instead of collecting stubs of physical ones.
Travellers can also scan their passports on AirAsia mobile app, facilitating a more streamlined user experience and a seamless and contactless self check-in process.
Guests can also store their e-boarding pass within the Apple Wallet, while non-blinking e-boarding passes are now available for guests to utilise via mobile app.
AirAsia said there was a plan to progressively add other features such as travel visa scanning capabilities in the near future.
Riad said digitalisation at AirAsia was driven by the dual considerations of reducing costs and increasing revenue, while meeting the requirement of enhancing the guest experience.
“We have continuously worked to enhance the end-to-end digitalisation of our airline operations, from our systems and processes to the way we interact with our guests and other stakeholders.
“We started to work on the enhanced contactless check-in and boarding procedures utilising our current digital kiosks and self-bag drop machines from mid-March 2020 and completed in parts from April 25, 2020 and ready for operations starting May 13, 2020,” he said.
Riad said it would be vital for countries to resume economic activities via air transport as it provides connectivity, followed by the resumption of domestic travel and gradually reopening international borders.
“The formation and discussion of ‘travel bubbles’ and ‘green lanes’ with key economic partners with a low infection rate and proven pandemic curbing systems, is a step in the right direction.
“The aviation and tourism sectors account for around 4.0 per cent to 10 per cent of the global gross domestic product, respectively.
“Over 65 million jobs are supported worldwide in the aviation sector, while 1.0 in 10 jobs around the world is contributed by the tourism sector,” he said.
Riad said some of Asean countries had planned to ease travel restrictions with key economic partners but most are outside the region, for example: Singapore with China; Thailand with China, Vietnam and Laos; Vietnam with China and South Korea.
The government had recently allowed all public transport services, including flights and express buses, as well as e-hailing services and private vehicles, to operate at full capacity while abiding by the standard operating procedures (SOPs) under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) at all time.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob reminded all public transport service providers to ensure that their passengers could still observe social distancing, despite the relaxation.
AirAsia said it welcomed the government’s decision not to enforce social distancing on aircraft with the reopening of domestic travel and incentives such as the RM1,000 income tax relief for domestic tourism spending until December 2021.
“Holding on to our mantra, ‘Now Everyone Can Fly’ – we strongly support the government’s efforts by launching Unlimited Pass to stimulate and revive Malaysia’s domestic tourism,” he added.
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