Air Asia is entering the e-commerce business with its own e-marketplace named OURSHOP.

The new e-marketplace had a soft launch this week that will allow travellers throughout Air Asia's network to buy duty free items, and have it read for pickup at the airport or delivered while onboard an Air Asia flight. The airline sees a market in Air Asia passengers, which this year the airline predicts will be around 80 million.

Travellers will be able to find items on an online platform, pay without cash, and select a delivery option. For OURSHOP, Air Asia will also offer the ability to earn and redeem Big loyalty points, or use the airline's own online currency BigPay to purchase items.

Air Asia will roll out more features on the platform, which could possibly be a standalone product sold to other airlines.

OURSHOP was launched with its first retail partner, Plaza Bali Duty & Tax Free, with plans to offer retailers access to Air Asia guest insights, traveler’s departing and arrival destinations, enabling more precise marketing and delivery of products.

AirAsia Group CEO and AirAsia X Co-Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, “OURSHOP proudly goes live today with Plaza Bali Duty & Tax Free signed on as its first airport partner. It is an absolute pleasure to be working with forward thinking companies like Plaza Bali Duty & Tax Free who recognise the opportunities ahead. OURSHOP is a partner of the entire air travel ecosystem including airports, retailers, as well as the airlines and we look forward to building more relationships. What used to be a 20-minute shopping experience as travelers rush to their boarding gates is now 365 days of shopping indulgence.

“AirAsia was the first airline to sell tickets online in this region. We are going back to our e-commerce roots as we know it best. We have taken a mix of models and applied it to our marketplace. OURSHOP is an e-commerce site without the risks of capex and stocking.”

OURSHOP will join emerging startups offering inflight e-retailing platforms which seek to connect airlines and retailers, and generate more revenue through e-commerce sales targetted at airline travellers. Its a move which airlines are seeking to reduce costs by eliminating the inflight duty-free magazines as planes become more connected to the internet.

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