CIO50 2019: #15 Aireen Omar, AirAsia
AirAsia operates a fleet of more than 270 aircraft across 23 markets, flies to more than 150 destinations and carries 100 million guests each year. The organisation has also been named the world’s best low-cost carrier for 11 years running.
As Group President (RedBeat Ventures) of AirAsia Group, Aireen Omar is responsible for AirAsia’s digital strategy, promoting innovation throughout the group and encouraging collaboration across businesses and markets.
Omar’s remit includes strategic, group-wide initiatives to help transform AirAsia into a global, cloud-driven product and platform company, ensuring synergies between the airline and AirAsia’s digital and fintech businesses such as BigPay, ROKKI and AirAsia BIG Loyalty.
Under the stewardship of Omar, the business is transitioning legacy on-premises technologies to the cloud, partnering with Google Cloud to help drive digital transformation efforts.
This entails moving dozens of workloads and apps to Google Cloud Platform, deploying G Suite as a collaboration and productivity solution for all employees and replacing thousands of Windows laptops with Chromebooks.
Omar has implemented a range of innovations at AirAsia Group - but potentially the most significant is an e-commerce app that may ultimately exceed the size of the airline business itself.
The app will offer everything from hotel bookings to beauty products and dinner vouchers and according to Bloomberg, AirAsia hopes to earn 20x the $240 million in annual revenue reaped from its current booking engine as it expands into the new app.
With Omar shaping the strategy, AirAsia is realising its ambition of becoming a “data-first, digital airline”. For example, the carrier is integrating machine learning and artificial intelligence into every aspect of its business and culture as part of its transformation into a travel technology company.