The Jakarta Post
AirAsia flights were missing from Traveloka and Tiket.com from Feb. 14 to 17. The flights then reappeared on Feb. 18, but have been missing for the second time since March 2 on both sites. (Shutterstock/Jeerapan Jankaew)
AirAsia has withdrawn its tickets from Traveloka. The move follows an incident in which the low-cost airline’s flights were unavailable on the sites of several online travel agents, namely Traveloka and Tiket.com.
“As a group, AirAsia has discontinued the sales of all of our tickets on Traveloka. It’s based on our disappointment with them,” Dendy Kurniawan, president director of AirAsia Indonesia, said in a press conference on March 4 in South Jakarta. In the meantime, AirAsia is still waiting for official clarification from Tiket.com.
AirAsia flights were missing from Traveloka and Tiket.com from Feb. 14 to 17. At the time, Traveloka told tribunnews.com that it was due to the airline’s system upgrades, while Tiket.com had remained silent on the matter. However, Rifai Taberi, AirAsia Indonesia commercial director, wrote on his Facebook account that it was not caused by AirAsia’s system.
The flights then reappeared on Feb. 18, but have been missing for the second time since March 2 on both sites.
“We’ve been patient enough waiting for Traveloka’s official explanation – despite rumors that were spread at that time,” said Dendy. “If [they said] it’s because of the system – come on, they should’ve anticipated it. They could’ve contacted us directly.”
Dendy said he had received reports that Traveloka had not provided a clear explanation about the unavailability to their customers and that the online travel agent had not directed AirAsia customers to the airline’s official website or app to book tickets. “But they suggested that people choose other airlines that were available on their website. We perceive this as something that hurts our good business relations with them,” said Dendy.
Dendy Kurniawan, president director of AirAsia Indonesia (right), poses with Rifai Taberi, AirAsia Indonesia commercial director (left), during press conference on March 4 in South Jakarta. (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira)
Dendy added that the withdrawal could have a short-term impact on the airlines. “Perhaps [for] less than a month,” he said. “I believe our customers [will] check our website directly.”
Also present at the press conference, Rifai agreed with Dendy’s statement. “Our sales in February were not affected by it at all,” said Rifai, adding that his side had emailed Traveloka five times since Saturday afternoon but had not received a response.
According to kompas.com, Busyra Oryza, public relations manager of Traveloka, said on Sunday that he had reached out to AirAsia through phone call and WhatsApp but received no response. He also added that he was checking with the agent’s internal teams on the matter.
Rifai confirmed the statement, but said Traveloka had contacted AirAsia through phone communication. “What we didn’t get was professional communication […] but we already responded to them,” he said.
In a statement on Monday, Sufinitri Rahayu, public relations director for Traveloka, said the travel site highly prioritized continuous collaboration with all stakeholders and partners. “Since last weekend, we’ve asked for time to talk with AirAsia to come up with the best solutions for both parties,” Sufinitri said.
Additionally, in February, Rifai once indicated an instruction forcing online travel agents to stop selling AirAsia tickets on his Facebook account, but Dendy said he did not want to make any speculation. “Just let the relevant agencies investigate it. We’re not going to cooperate with parties with the intention of unhealthy competition. That’s none of our business,” Dendy said.
The Jakarta Post asked Traveloka on Monday about the possibility of holding discussions with AirAsia anytime soon, however the agent did not offer a comment. (mut)