The Jakarta Post
An AirAsia aircraft takes off from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport. (JP/Zul Trio Anggono)
Since Thursday, Feb. 14, AirAsia has received complaints from a number of Twitter users regarding its absence on the online travel agents.
Tribunnews.com reported that Traveloka PR manager Busyra Oryza said the absence could have been caused by its system upgrades. According to its official website, AirAsia announced on Feb. 11 it was to upgrade its Navitaire New Skies reservation system, making flight booking unavailable from Saturday, Feb. 16 to Sunday, Feb. 17.
However, Facebook posts from Rifai Taberi, AirAsia Indonesia commercial director, stated otherwise.
“For those who have had problems booking AirAsia tickets via online travel agents for the last several days, the problem is not with the AirAsia system,” Rifai wrote on Sunday. “The development of the fleet industry in recent months has caused many incidents. In fact, there’s an indication of unhealthy competition which, as usual, will upset the customers.”
He also uploaded another post on the same day. “[…] Shutting down distribution channels won’t beat your competitors, [but] preventing [online travel] agents from selling competitors’ products isn’t the solution [either],” Rifai wrote. “Customers will always look for [tickets] on official websites if [they cannot find them through] travel agents.”
“We sensed an indication of an instruction forcing online travel agents [to stop selling AirAsia tickets],” Rifai told Antara news agency, while dismissing a rumor about agents' special treatment for AirAsia in selling tickets. “It’s weird that all of a sudden they stopped selling our tickets […] we asked for an explanation and they said it was due to technical difficulties.”
The Jakarta Post reached Traveloka on Monday for comments. While the online travel agent said AirAsia tickets were back on its website, it did not provide any comment on Rifai's statements on Facebook. (wir/wng)
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