Expedia and AirAsia Form Joint Venture

AirAsia and Expedia, Inc., recently launched a new joint-venture company that will offer a complete range of value-priced flights, hotels and holiday packages to the Asia-Pacific region. According to Expedia, this marks the first partnership of its kind globally between a low-cost carrier such as AirAsia and an online travel agency such as Expedia.

Under the joint-venture agreement, a new company will be formed to operate Expedia, Inc.’s Expedia-branded businesses in Japan, India, Southeast Asia and other East Asian markets, as well as AirAsia’s AirAsiaGo and GoRooms businesses. The new venture will build upon AirAsia’s unique local marketing expertise in the region, along with Expedia’s travel booking technology.

The new venture will have the exclusive online third-party distribution rights in the region for AirAsia and AirAsiaX flights and travel packages. This means that, with few exceptions in the region, the only place for travelers and agents to find and book AirAsia flights online will be on AirAsia.com, AirAsiaGo.com and Expedia.com, Expedia said. Combined with the numerous hotels worldwide that are available for booking on Expedia, this new venture will create a unique set of packages for customers in Asia who are seeking low rates on both the AirAsiaGo and Expedia sites.

In addition, AirAsia, which operates AirAsia Malaysia, AirAsia Indonesia, AirAsia Thailand, AirAsiaX and other AirAsia joint venture airlines, and Expedia are partnering outside of the new venture to make Expedia the exclusive third party travel provider for AirAsia inventory, allowing travelers to book AirAsia inventory on any of Expedia’s travel sites worldwide.

”With this announcement AirAsia and Expedia are launching a revolution in online travel for Asia,” said Tony Fernandes, group CEO, AirAsia. “This partnership between two global brands and leaders in the travel industry comes at a time when online travel bookings are exploding in the region. Asia, and its booming economy, offers a huge opportunity to develop a set of loved consumer brands.”

“By partnering with AirAsia, Expedia is taking an important step in developing our global position,” added Barry Diller, chairman and senior executive, Expedia, Inc. “This is particularly exciting, given Asia’s influence in the online travel marketplace.”

To celebrate the new partnership, www.AirAsiaGo.com offered hotel discounts of up to 80 percent off in 10 Asian cities for three days beginning on March 29. Expedia also will be launching its new Malaysia site, www.Expedia.com.my, and Thailand site, www.Expedia.co.th, with a two-week sale offering up to 60 percent off on Southeast Asia destination packages and fares.

AirAsia’s branded websites, www.airasiago.com and www.gorooms.com, and Expedia, Inc.’s existing Expedia-branded businesses in Japan (www.Expedia.co.jp), India (www.Expedia.co.in) and Singapore (www.Expedia.com.sg), along with new markets launched today in Malaysia (www.Expedia.com.my) and Thailand (www.Expedia.co.th), will be operated by the joint venture.

Visit www.AirAsia.com and www.Expedia.com.

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