IN ANOTHER instance of the private sector achieving what ASEAN itself has failed to do, AirAsia Group has introduced a new regional travel pass that will pave the way for more intra-regional travel.
AirAsia launched the AirAsia Asean Pass and AirAsia Asean Pass+ in Bangkok yesterday, the idea for which was first mooted in November last year.
Both passes work on the same credit system and enable pass holders to enjoy fixed-rate flights to more than 148 destinations in all 10 ASEAN countries on AirAsia’s network.
Flights shorter than two hours will cost travellers one credit; all else will be priced at three credits per flight. While no processing fees apply for flight redemptions, passengers are still subject to the relevant airport taxes and fees.
The AirAsia Asean Pass, which is priced at S$209 (US$154), comes with 10 credits and the AirAsia Asean Pass+, retailing for S$369, comes with 20. Both are valid for one year.
Flights can be redeemed on AirAsia’s various regional airlines – AirAsia Malaysia, Thai AirAsia, AirAsia Indonesia and Philippines AirAsia – to destinations only in South-east Asia.
The passes are now on sale at AirAsia’s website.
Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia Group, said: “As a truly ASEAN airline, we are extremely proud to introduce the AirAsia ASEAN pass, which is a product specifically designed to further liberalise and encourage travel among the ASEAN community. The pass allows us to bridge communities and attract more foreign tourists to the region – it’s the perfect instrument to promote ASEAN integration.”
With the year-end implementation date of the ASEAN Economic Community approaching, there has been little progress in achieving the longstanding wishes of the travel community including a “true” Open Skies system, and a single visa for travel within the entire bloc.