AirAsia removes all flights from Traveloka after 'unexplained disappearance' of flights

AirAsia removes all flights from Traveloka after 'unexplained disappearance' of flights

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia has withdrawn all its flights from Indonesian travel aggregator Traveloka following the "unexplained disappearance" of AirAsia Indonesia flights from the site for the second time in two weeks, it said in a statement on Monday (Mar 4).

AirAsia said its flights first disappeared from Traveloka on Feb 14 to 17, coinciding with AirAsia’s network-wide system upgrade on Feb 16.

"Traveloka had cited the 13-hour system downtime as the reason for AirAsia flights disappearing from their website in response to queries from customers," said the statement.

"However, AirAsia flights disappeared from Traveloka for a second time on Mar 2 without clarification, well after the successful system upgrade by AirAsia."

AirAsia Indonesia president director Dendy Kurniawan said Traveloka had not acted in good faith.

"They have refused to provide an official explanation despite our repeated attempts to seek their clarification," the statement quoted him as saying.

"The exclusion of several AirAsia Indonesia flights by Traveloka is a clear display of preferential treatment and an act of favouritism," he said, adding that customers who enquired about the unavailability of AirAsia flights were told by Traveloka to fly with other airlines instead.

"Therefore, in solidarity, AirAsia Group withdraws sales of all of its flights from Traveloka effective immediately."

Searches performed by Channel NewsAsia on the Traveloka website on Monday afternoon did not show AirAsia flights on routes plied by the airline.

The airline's statement also advised travellers who wish to purchase AirAsia flights to book on the airline's website or mobile app.

Replying to Channel NewsAsia's queries, Traveloka's PR director Mrs Sufintri Rahayu said that the company regretted the decision made by AirAsia to withdraw ticket sales from the platform. 

Traveloka has also reached out to AirAsia "to open a dialogue that will provide the best solutions for all relevant parties", she added.

Traveloka is one of four unicorns - startups worth at least US$1 billion - in Indonesia, where a youthful population of more than 250 million people owning at least 100 million smartphones has driven a rapid growth in the number of startups.

AirAsia Indonesia - part of the Malaysia-based AirAsia Group network - is a publicly listed company in the Indonesia Stock Exchange.

Source: CNA/Reuters/jt(hm)

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