AirAsia organises inaugural 2017 Airvolution hackathon

SEPANG: In its quest to transform from being a low-cost carrier to a digital savvy airline, AirAsia today organised its inaugural "hackathon".

Titled "2017 Airvolution", the hackathon involves AirAsia pitting 20 teams from nine countries consisting of computer engineers, coders, programmers, graphic designers and software developers to collaborate and compete against each other on tasks relevant to the company's strategy and targets.

Following an 18-hour contest held at AirAsia's RedQ, here today, team Aviato from Singapore emerged with the best proposal — "how to profile AirAsia fans based on their digital social footprint to improve customer experience".

The proposal could potentially allow AirAsia to use its customers' social profile such as Instagram to allow the company to make targeted offers involving destinations and meals which reflects their interest.

For their winning effort, the team, which comprised Singapore nationals ​ Choo Yan Sheng, John Goh Choo Ern, Durwin Ho Hsu Tian, Albert Puah Beng Hong and Kevin Kwa Leung Boon​, was awarded the grand prize of RM25,000 cash, 100,000 AirAsia BIG Points and five return flights to any AirAsia destination.

AirAsia Chief Data and Digital Officer Nikunj Shanti said the airline was really impressed by the creative problem-solving and technical knowledge put on display.

"The teams demonstrated some truly out-of-the-box thinking and we look forward to seeing more innovative ideas on how to make travel even better for our guests," he said.

AirAsia Bhd CEO Aireen Omar said the participation of teams representing Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Australia is expected to kick start the airline's vision to be supportive of the tech community.

"Airvolution marks the start of our engagement with the tech community, which we see as a continuous, two-way conversation where AirAsia has the opportunity to learn from the best and, in return, is able to offer support to great ideas we feel the world should know about.

"The inaugural contest has not only been a great experience for participants but for us as well," she said.