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AirAsia Set To Launch Drone Delivery Service And Air Taxi

Malaysia’s AirAsia Group Bhd plans to launch an air taxi service and the country’s first drone delivery service as the budget carrier seeks to diversify amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the company’s CEO said on Saturday.

Teleport, the logistics venture of AirAsia Digital, is exploring the use of automated drones to deliver goods from AirAsia’s e-commerce platforms.

The pilot project for the delivery of goods from AirAsia’s e-commerce platforms, including AirAsia shop, using automated drones is set to be carried out through a six-month phased approach at the third NTIS test site in Cyberjaya.

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, the group chief executive officer said that drone delivery is an innovative logistic solution that would improve efficiency and operational excellence as well as accelerate the pace of delivery in urban areas.

“Besides, the drone delivery enables us to keep up with the ever-growing demand for e-commerce and remain agile when facing a shifting economic landscape,” he added.

This innovation is also looking forward to creating new and high-tech job opportunities for Malaysians.

Aside from that, the group also planned to launch an air taxi service in one and a half years time, apart from the e-hailing service in April.

“The air taxi will have a pilot and four seats. At the moment, we have our team working on this upcoming service by AirAsia,” Tony explained.

“(The) idea was brought up three weeks ago and now it’s reality,” he wrote on Instagram.

The struggling airline, which reported a fifth straight quarterly loss in November, has been seeking to raise 2.5 billion ringgit ($613.95 million) from loans and investors.

Last month, it said its 33 percent owned Japanese unit, which ceased operations last October, had begun bankruptcy proceedings.

According to him, AirAsia is recovering well despite the impact of the global pandemic, with the growth of its digital platforms such as the super app, fintech and food business.

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