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Expedia, Booking.com warn AirAsia of turbulence in online travel plan

Battle will be fought with passenger data and services

U.K. authority says a sports team owned by AirAsia's top two executives had received $50 million in illegal payments from jet maker Airbus Group. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara)

SINGAPORE -- Online travel giants Expedia and Booking.com are warning that budget airline pioneer, AirAsia Group, risks being destabilized by ambitious plans to become the "Amazon of travel".

AirAsia, which already offers limited travel plans on its website, plans to expand the online service to include booking flights with rival airlines and ecommerce. As profits tumble in the face of rising fuel costs and intensifying competition, CEO Tony Fernandes is seeking alternative sources of revenue and earlier this year told the Nikkei Asian Review he intended to invest 100 million Malaysian ringgit ($24.6 million) a year to become a technology-led company.

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