Sometime around February this year, Malaysian budget airline AirAsia’s flights on routes within Indonesia began vanishing sporadically from Indonesia’s largest online travel agent (OTA), Traveloka. Instead, the platform’s users had to manually check AirAsia’s website or app to see if the airline had better options.
This was no oversight or technical glitch. Or at least, that’s what AirAsia alleged. In March, the carrier, owned by eclectic Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes, declared it would permanently withdraw all of its flights from Traveloka, Indonesia’s biggest OTA, because it felt unfairly treated by the platform.
“The exclusion of several AirAsia Indonesia flights by Traveloka is a clear display of preferential treatment and an act of favouritism,” the statement read.