Airlines worldover continue to look at ways to overcome the significant challenges brought by the on-going effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The restrictions on international and domestic travel caused ripples of setbacks which necessitates collaboration among industry players to enable themselves to bounce back stronger.
For AirAsia Philippines, their struggles from the pandemic prompted them to renew their unbreakable commitment to serve their guests despite turbulent times. No matter how dark the clouds seem during the flight, there is always a silver lining amid the storm.
“I shall never forget March 19, 2020. There was a total lockdown; all flights were canceled, and the airports were closed. It was tough…We know that it will take us two to three months to get back our commercial flights, thus we have to be agile,” said AirAsia Philippines Chief Executive Officer Ricky Isla.
The company immediately implemented multi-layered approaches to safety , such as enforcing rigorous sanitation processes on ground, inside the aircraft, equipping their ground staff, pilots and cabin crew with protective equipment, thermal screening, and implementing strict social distancing, among others.
“The most important question that our passengers would always challenge us is, is it safe to ride in an aircraft considering that you’re close to your seatmate? But to us, we made sure that there’s proper education regarding our Highly Efficient Particulate Air Filtration process. Because of that, we were able to rebuild immediately the confidence of our passengers to fly…” Isla noted.
While commercial flights are still recovering, AirAsia shifted to chartered flights for both passengers and cargo. In partnership with various government agencies, AirAsia safely mounted chartered repatriation flights among Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to help them return to their provinces to reunite with their families. They also accommodated chartered trips to transport personal protective equipment (PPEs) and medical supplies to the country, which are essential for medical frontliners in the fight against COVID-19.
The volatile climate did not prevent the business from seeing the silver lining on the horizon. In fact, it opened doors of opportunities for growth and expansion as it launched airasiaSuper App, the fastest growing digital, travel and lifestyle platform that features not only flights but flights plus hotel bundles under snap, unlimited deals, cargo and logistics venture Teleport and soon more offerings that will cater to the growing ecommerce business in the Philippines.
AirAsia augmented their customer services to better assist the concerns of their guests through an efficient customer interface to address queries on changing traveling requirements effectively.. They also adopted contactless solutions to seamlessly verify passenger information through FACES, a facial recognition technology pioneered, developed and operated by AirAsia which will replace boarding passes and make traveling in the new normal better, convenient and unique.
This was made possible by having a reliable partner who provided them with the necessary support in embracing technology to adapt to the new normal. PLDT Enterprise, through its ICT arm ePLDT, supported AirAsia in providing exceptional customer experience to their patrons. Through its slew of digital solutions, AirAsia was able to uphold its unbreakable commitment to keeping its customers satisfied despite all the regulations they need to follow.
“During this pandemic, we made sure that PLDT Enterprise was with us the whole time. They provided AirAsia with a very well-managed Emergency Disaster Hotline Service, through ePLDT, which is powered by Curo Teknika,” Isla said.
Moreover, with the launch of the airasia Super App in the Philippines, they expanded their presence in providing comprehensive travel experience to passengers, as they now also assist other travel necessities, including bookings for hotel and medical requirements, shopping, and activities, among others.
“AirAsia is known to be a disruptor in the industry. With the help of our Malaysian group and all other subsidiaries in Indonesia, Thailand, and Japan, we transformed into a digital airline company.; we are now more than just an airline,” Isla added.
“Marami pong salamat sa ePLDT. The service aims to support a full online customer service delivery for AirAsia and it’s complete with all the digital platforms which are conducive to our customers to address all their needs even beyond post pandemic. And we will continue to build this up aside from our AVA (Allstar Virtual Assistant); we will make sure that our ePLDT powered by Curo Teknika is with us the whole time,” Isla highlighted.
“We are very happy that we shall be keeping this partnership with PLDT Enterprise as we progress and move forward to a better pandemic-free future.”
PLDT Enterprise’s Unbreakable Commitment campaign highlights its collaboration with businesses and organizations in the country to demonstrate how creating partnerships has helped companies succeed amid various challenges and in turn, contribute to the lives of Filipinos.
The campaign also reinforces PLDT Enterprise’s unbreakable commitment to empowering organizations through technology.
“PLDT Enterprise is a reliable partner that companies can depend on for technologies that will empower their business to overcome the limitations of face-to-face transactions. During these times, companies are left with no choice but to go digital and it is our unbreakable commitment in PLDT Enterprise to value their trust by delivering solutions that will take their business to greater heights,” said Jojo Gendrano, FVP and Head for PLDT and Smart Enterprise.
PLDT Enterprise and ePLDT have been instrumental to companies including AirAsia Philippines. as it takes off on its journey to business recovery. The times have been turbulent, and the skies have been dark, but with the help of the right partner who catapulted the business to reach its goals, the business found boundless opportunities onboard. Watch AirAsia’s interview here: https://youtu.be/cFtMyPLSkuk
Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort Delivers Stronger Connections with PLDT Enterprise
PLDT Enterprise, the B2B arm of largest fully integrated telco in the country, recently partnered with one of the most premiere resorts in Cebu, the Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort, to deliver robust and reliable connections for their customers and their hotel experience.
“At PLDT and Smart, we are all about providing customer-focused digital innovations. That is why we are honored to provide world-class Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort with unparalleled connectivity that is at par with their mission of giving a luxurious experience to its guests,” says PLDT Customer Relationship Management Head, Kent De La Calzada.
“One of the highlights of the partnership is that the resort is now powered by PLDT’s Dedicated Internet Access service, or iGate–a service that provides businesses with guaranteed bandwidth as well as reliable and managed connectivity to the Internet.” This will positively impact the resort’s operations in terms of easier and faster transactions and communication for staff, and better service and connectivity for guests, especially for business travelers.
Other connectivity solutions that are in place at Sheraton Cebu Mactan are the PLDT SIP Trunks, powered by fiber technology, which will provide quality and stable incoming and outgoing voice calls, and SMART Postpaid, powered by the latest Smart 5G network, for the mobile communication of the employees.
There is also Smart Broadband which will be provided for guests traveling from the airport to the hotel and vice versa. All these efforts align with Sheraton’s vision of being the best welcoming resort destination in the Philippines.
“We value the time our guests spend with us at Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort, and indeed, part of that guest experience is connectivity,” says Dottie Wurgler-Cronin, General Manager at Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort. “We want them to feel connected while staying with us–be it at the hotel and the world-class services we provide or simply to each other and their loved ones back at home.”
“With our partnership with PLDT, we are confident that we can bring that deep sense of togetherness and that unique Cebuano hospitality we are known for to all our guests,” adds Ray. G. Manigsaca, President and CEO of AppleOne Properties, Inc.
Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort is a 261-room premium resort property at Mactan Island in Lapu-Lapu City, a 30-minute drive from Mactan International Airport.
#PHDigicon2022: “When I think about BOUNDLESS, I think that’s Magic Johnson!”
Philippine Digital Convention 2022 headline speaker Earvin “Magic” Johnson talked about his journey from being an NBA Hall of Famer to philanthropist and businessman
After two years of holding the country’s most prestigious and one of the most sought-after thought leadership events in the Asia-Pacific Region virtually, Enterprise held the Philippine Digital Convention (PH Digicon) last October 27-28, 2022, face-to-face at the Marriott Grand Ballroom with a simultaneous broadcast online.
Highlighting the 2-day convention was the live interview with the legendary basketball icon Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson who strongly relates to the PH Digicon 2022 theme of BOUNDLESS. Hosted by PLDT Group Corporate Communications Head, Cathy Yap-Yang, Johnson fondly shares, “When I think about Boundless, I think that’s Magic Johnson!”
In 1991, Johnson officially retired from his basketball career following the announcement of his diagnosis with HIV. In the same year, he founded the Magic Johnson Foundation, one of the most recognizable philanthropic organizations around the world today, which serves as a single-disease organization that works to raise funds for community-based organizations dealing with HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs.
Looking back, Johnson recalls the stigma and discrimination that used to rule the disease and how people talked in “hushed voices”. Now, people can openly talk about and discuss HIV/AIDS–all in the name of raising awareness of the disease.
Johnson’s ‘retirement’ didn’t hold him back to do what he loves most when he came back to play in the 1992 All-Star Game and won the All-Star MVP Award. He was also a part of the ‘Dream Team’ that won the Olympic gold medal in Barcelona during the 1992 Olympics.
“When I look at our team and our achievements, we changed the world when it comes to the NBA and when it came to basketball,” he says. “What we were able to accomplish in Barcelona, the way that the world accepted us, we’ve never seen anything like it. We won the gold medal, but we changed the game of basketball around the world forever. And I am happy to be part of that.”
Raising the next generation of entrepreneurs
Johnson is also the founder and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, a global empire with a wide range of business endeavors that range from sports ownership, food service, to media and entertainment. He may have come a long way from bringing coffee shops and cinemas into Urban America, but he remains committed to his mission of creating jobs and opportunities for minorities and women-owned firms. When asked about retirement, the NBA Hall of Famer laughingly replied, “I am not built to slow down. I am a worker; I love to work, [and I bring] passion to my job every day.”
To prepare the next generation of dreamers and entrepreneurs, the NBA Hall of Famer, businessman, and philanthropist advised them about having a positive attitude despite setbacks, the importance of believing in one’s self, and having mentors–a role that he continues to play for many businesses, athletes, and his fans.
“My life is boundless. When I think of my journey, that’s the word I would use. I did everything that was not supposed to be done. When I think about boundless, I think that’s Magic Johnson! I was the first to go through a lot of doors, a man of color. Trust me, you can do it. Everybody out there, you can do it, you can have it, you can go do it, it’s all up to you.”
30 years later, after countless successful ventures, he shared, “Today, Magic’s court is the business world.”
For more information, visit https://pldtenterprise.com/.
PLDT reinforces PH as Next Hyperscale Hub in Southeast Asia at Telecoms World Asia
The PLDT Group bolsters its mission to help make the Philippines Southeast Asia’s next hyperscale hub. At the recent Telecoms World Asia conference held in Bangkok, Thailand, PLDT Enterprise’s Asia-Pacific Regional Head, Jeff Mendoza, emphasized the critical role played by PLDT in creating the digital infrastructure required by the country’s transformation into a regional hyperscale powerhouse.
“Over the past few years, we have witnessed unprecedented digital adoption in the region, especially in the Philippines,” says Mendoza. “Google’s latest e-Conomy SEA report shows the Philippines as the frontrunner in Southeast Asia with its digital economy expected to be sustained at a CAGR of 20% through 2025.”
PLDT’s efforts to help drive the Philippines as the next hyperscale hub is guided by an even bigger mission to help build a sustainable future for Filipinos. PLDT remains dedicated to its efforts and initiatives that strongly support UNSDG No. 9: ‘Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation’.
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