1. It will influence the way Western companies think about their Asian strategy, not only in travel – how much are they prepared to give for what they stand to get. In Expedia’s case, it was worth giving away 50% of their business in Asia to have access not only to AirAsia’s inventory but also its distribution, network and expertise in local markets.

2. It ups the ante in the fast-growing, increasingly competitive online travel landscape in Asia. This joint venture is evidence that the Asian online travel market has matured to such an extent that the world’s largest online travel agency is finally taking it seriously and on the market’s own terms.

3. For AirAsia, it marks a paradigm shift. Once, it thought it could do it alone. Now, it realizes as it expands and particularly as it goes longhaul into markets where its brand does not have as much cache as at home, it needs partners. So for AirAsia's Fernandes, it was worth surrendering his dream of self-distribution to give their air content to a partner which will give them global distribution in the markets they need access to – namely US, Europe and Australia.

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