On January 15, this journalist visited “Santan Restaurant” located inside the Mid Valley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Santan Restaurant, which is run by a Malaysian low-cost carrier (LCC), is the world’s first restaurant specializing in airplane food.
Opened in December last year, the restaurant offers some 20 varieties of snacks and lunchbox as well as beverages and coffee that are actually served onboard. An in-flight meal with a beverage can be had for around 4,500 won. “We’re planning to franchise the brand to meet the increasing consumer demand to experience in-flight food on land,” said Catherine Ko, the senior manager at Santan Restaurant.
AirAsia is building international reputation as a low-budget airliner posting additional revenues through such fringe services and businesses as Santan Restaurant. The company also became the first LCC to introduce a “Flatbed seat,” a premium seating comparable to business class of large-sized carriers. AirAsia also features a “silent zone” exclusive to passengers aged 10 or older, and it offers a special seat dedicated to couples.
The LCC allows passengers to choose the amount of luggage transfer service from 20 to 40 kilograms. Flight fares are set according to the luggage weight and time of ticket purchase, providing an expanded scope of choice to meet the different needs of passengers. AirAsia is actively harnessing data to develop better services by identifying consumer needs. The airliner analyzes passengers’ information such as their patterns or preferences throughout the entire cycle from travel planning, tickets issuance to boarding. While the seats come with no back-side monitors, AirAsia is providing their passengers with a rental service of tablet PCs containing video content, such as movies or dramas, as well as useful information on duty-free products, shopping, and tourist guide. Users are required to enter their information such as gender, age, and flight number. This gives the airliner access to the preferences and interests of its passengers.
AirAsia.com, one of the company’s departments, developed a new service that allows passengers to choose what they want from various options such as hotels, leisure activities, Airtels, and traveler’s insurance. Passengers can purchase the flight tickets of other airliners on AirAsia’s homepage and enjoy shopping on its online shopping mall.
“We’ve identified the trend where an increasing number of consumers are all pursuing different lifestyles in using airline services, so we’ve developed services that satisfy such varied needs,” said Tony Fernandes, the CEO of AirAsia.