AirAsia Food and AirAsia Fresh lands in Kota Kinabalu

With this farming warehouse, fresh products can be shipped from Sabah to KL within 24 hours 

by AZALEA AZUAR / pic source:

AIRASIA Group Bhd’s AirAsia Food and AirAsia Fresh e-commerce platform is now available in Kota Kinabalu (KK), Sabah. 

AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes (picture) said the service would boost the recovery of the local economy by introducing more job opportunities while local businesses will be able to earn more through the lowest commission rates in the market while offering consumers better value for their money. 

“In the larger context, launching AirAsia Fresh in KK complements our bigger agriculture and logistics project for Sabah through AirAsia farm — our business-to-business platform connecting farmers directly to businesses, providing an ideal ecosystem in terms of supply chain and distribution for fresh produce within Sabah and for export,” he added. 

AirAsia will have a 6,000 sq ft (557.42 sq m) warehouse in KK which will act as a three-in-one Agricentre utilised by AirAsia’s farm as a cold chain facility, office space and a dedicated training area that will benefit local farmers, as well as small and medium enterprises (SME) in Sabah to upskill and transform in the digital era.

“My dream is why can’t it be exported directly from Sabah to China, to Japan, to Korea and to the world? So, we want to build airport logistics so that we can do that,” he said during a press conference yesterday.

With this farming warehouse, fresh products can be shipped from Sabah to Kuala Lumpur (KL) within 24 hours to preserve freshness. 

“The dream is to collect all the vegetables, put them on our marketplace and transport them into warehouses through some engine. And they can be as fresh as possible to consumers and supermarkets in Malaysia and hopefully the world,” said Fernandes. 

The introduction of AirAsia’s two e-commerce offerings and warehouse is a way to help revive farming, which has great potential, he added. 

“Everyone wants to go to the city but we think farming is a great business to go into. Food security is important for Sabah and Malaysia and it’s a lucrative business,” Fernandes said. 

With its experience in branding, AirAsia plans to work with the Sabah state government to help brand Sabahan products and increase the value to its farmers. 

Fernandes hoped more local entrepreneurs, restaurant owners and grocery suppliers would hop on board to its Super App and tap into its rich database and extensive market access. 

Through AirAsia’s BigPay application, Sabahans will enjoy paying with cheaper loans since it does not charge interest rates. 

According to AirAsia e-commerce super app head Lim Ben-Jie, the Covid-19 pandemic has shifted consumer behaviour regardless of whether they are staying in Peninsular or from East Malaysia. 

The reason why the budget airline decided to kickstart the AirAsia Fresh and AirAsia Food in KK is due to the city’s high Internet penetration rate. 

“With 91.4% internet penetration in this city, it is only apt for us to introduce airasia food and airasia fresh to KK as a compelling e-commerce shopping and delivery service for consumers. 

“We are pleased to offer merchants our zero-listing fee policy as well as lowest commission rate of only 15% on AirAsia food and 5% on AirAsia fresh,” said Lim. 

The company is now hiring drivers and delivery agents for its delivery services in KK. 

Another feature in the Super App that would be made available in Sabah is AirAsia Beauty, which focuses on delivering quality beauty products to a consumer’s doorstep. AirAsia Express will also make its way to Sabah. 

“You can deliver your products, your documents, your food to your friends and family in Sabah, within the state or within your city,” he said. 

AirAsia also intends to develop its hailing service.