KUALA LUMPUR:  AirAsia Group Bhd expects its non-airline ticketing business to contribute 60 per cent to revenue, from about 20 per cent currently, in the next five years, said group chief executive officer (CEO) Tan Sri Tony Fernandes yesterday.

The low-cost carrier has diversified into financial technology with e-wallet and accompanying prepaid credit card BigPay, food and beverage industry with the recent opening of its restaurant, Santan, and followed by its entrance in the music industry with the launch of its record label, RedRecords, yesterday.

“As we celebrate 18 years of operation for AirAsia, we are focused on transforming the airline into a global digital travel and lifestyle leader.

“Now we are heading back to our musical roots to revolutionise the future of Asian pop culture and give it the worldwide stage it deserves,” he told reporters after announcing the group’s 50:50 joint-venture with Universal Music Group (UMG) to set up RedRecords here.

To-date, AirAsia’s airline ticketing business constituted 80 per cent of its earnings. Fernandes said the group would expand into the music and lifestyle business in a big way, as the airline company was also looking at incorporating RedVibes, a unit to organise festivals.

“We want to change the way you see concerts. We will do packages (that include hotels and tickets). Hopefully, we will bring a lot of people to Malaysia for events as well.

“While RedRecords is one piece, it is the whole infrastructure that we are looking at, that will be replicated with film. The journey continues and we will become relevant to your life,” he said.

RedRecords also announced Thai sensation Jannine Weigel as its marquee first signing yesterday.

AT the launch of RedRecords are (left) Choudhury, Calvin Wong, CEO South East Asia and Senior Vice President, Asia — Universal Music Group; Fernandes, Weigel, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, executive chairman of AirAsia Group; Kenny Ong, managing director of Universal Music Malaysia and Nadda Buranasiri CEO of AirAsia X Group. Photo: AirAsia

Weigel, a singer, songwriter, influencer, gamer and actor has released several singles and EPs and amassed a huge following on social media, with more than 600 million views and 3.3 million followers on YouTube, in addition to 3.2 million followers on Facebook, 1.5 million on Instagram and more than 500,000 on TikTok.

RedRecords will be led by Hassan Choudhury, head of music for AirAsia Group, who will take on the role of CEO of RedRecords.

The label will focus on discovering and developing talent from Southeast Asia and across the wider continent and form a clear and unique sound that reflects the diverse and rich musical culture of the continent.

RedRecords will be based here and Los Angeles and will combine UMG’s industry-leading track record in artiste development with AirAsia’s regional and global marketing strength to expand A-Pop’s (Asian pop) reach beyond national borders and languages to reach audiences around the world.

In addition to artiste development as well as artistes and repertoire, the label will also provide distribution and marketing, as well as management and agency services. – Bernama