Budget airline AirAsia is the latest corporate to get into hackathons. The company just revealed plans to host its first-ever hack event on March 18 at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“AIRVOLUTION 2017” — yes, all caps and a cheesy name 😑 — is, as you’d expect, focused on air travel and related themes although the final challenge will be announced on the day of the event. The top prize RM 25,000 (around $5,600) in cash alongside five sets of return flights to any AirAsia destination, and 100,000 of the company’s “Big” loyalty points.
There’s space for 20 selected teams to compete, with the only stipulation being that they must be from one of the 26 countries covered by AirAsia flights. Applications are open from now until 19 February 2017. Selected teams will be notified 3 March and those based outside of Malaysia will have their flights covered by AirAsia.
The event, which includes Microsoft among its sponsors, is aimed at injecting fresh ideas and thinking into the 13-year-old airline, according to CEO Tony Fernandes, who last year said he wanted to make AirAsia a “digital airline.”
“This year marks the emergence of AirAsia as a digital airline, and I believe this event can spur the kind of radical, creative thinking that will ensure AirAsia remains on the leading edge,” he said in a statement.
AirAsia is by no means the first travel company, or even airline, to embrace hackathons. Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines all run events, while British Airways has gone one step further with its own in-flight hackathon in 2013.