aviation industry

AirAsia launches facial recognition for air travel, lifestyle offerings

Aika Rey
AirAsia launches facial recognition for air travel, lifestyle offerings

FACIAL RECOGNITION. An AirAsia attendant tests Faces by scanning an employee's QR code.


The Philippine rollout of AirAsia's Faces is eyed for the first quarter of 2022

AirAsia Group launched a new version of its facial recognition boarding system, Faces, aiming to roll it out for various travel and lifestyle offerings.

Faces will allow AirAsia customers to select and pay for travel and lifestyle offerings via the airline’s Super App, which can immediately identify the customers through facial recognition.

AirAsia saw the need for technological innovation as part of its COVID-19 prevention initiatives, with air travel slowly returning.

The feature was officially launched at RedStation in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, November 18. It is now available for use in Malaysia.

“As the first airline to introduce this facial recognition technology tailored to our digital travel and lifestyle platform, we are continuing to deploy innovations that not only take the hassle out of flying in the new world, but make a difference to everyday lifestyle needs,” said AirAsia Aviation Group chief executive officer Bo Lingam.

“Guests flying with us can check-in online anywhere, anytime in just a click of the button once registered with Faces, supporting our efforts to restore confidence in air travel through technology and enhanced safety measures.”

In the Philippines, AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla and chief financial officer Ray Berja led the launch at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

The Philippine rollout for Faces is eyed for the first quarter of 2022, as the airline is still awaiting regulatory approval. For now, employees will use it to pilot-test the technology.

“This is the better normal in air travel that we are talking about. It’s convenient, contactless, and inclusive. At AirAsia, we always think two, three steps ahead, or more for the benefit of our guests,” Isla said.

AirAsia Super App CEO Amanda Woo said the group is working on allowing guests to check-in for hotels affiliated with AirAsia using Faces.

Eventually, Faces will also be used for all features on the Super App across the region, including ordering food, delivery, and ride-hailing. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.