AirAsia passengers will soon be able to purchase meals in-flight with their smartphones.
The budget carrier said yesterday that it will introduce an electronic point of sales (ePos) system which will make ordering and payment for food and beverages during flights “as easy as in a restaurant”.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said yesterday that the company will deploy this ePos system into its fleet within the next eight months.
Fernandes said this is in line with the airline’s digitalisation efforts to create better, more innovative inflight offerings.
Speaking with members of the media during AirAsia’s Santan Food Festival at its new headquarters in Sepang, Fernandes shared his vision whereby the flight attendants can deliver meals directly to the passenger without them having to wait for the food trolleys to be pushed through the aisle.
“My dream is to have passengers order food like you order in a restaurant. I think it’s old fashioned to just pull a trolley.”
He said that, once deployed, the ePos system will make the inflight food ordering and payment process faster and more efficient. “You can order directly with your mobile phone. The message will go straight to the galley and the crew can bring the food to you.”
“We also want our customers to preorder (their meals) as much as possible,” the CEO added.
Fernandes also said this technology will eventually help the crew understand the passengers better. From the data collected through the ePOS system, the crew can give recommendations to passengers who frequently order the same food or have never bought drinks.
The ePos system will be integrated into AirAsia’s onboard Wi-Fi service Rokki, which gives passengers access to instant messaging services such as Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat and Line during flights.
Hosted by AirAsia, the Santan Food Festival is the largest inflight food tasting event in Asia, featuring meals from across the region.
More than 200 people from the media attended the event which showcased the gastronomical delights of Santan (coconut milk) meals from across AirAsia’s network. Guests were treated to a Santan food tasting session and interactive activities such as a cooking demonstration of the airline’s latest signature dish Thai Green Curry with Rice.
Fernandes said the budget carrier is bringing the wonderful flavours of Asean into Santan to create a unique food experience, with the vision of replicating the on-ground gourmet experience onboard.
“We believe that with Santan, we can create the first restaurant brand in the sky that is both tasty and affordable,” he added.