Travel portals see over 30% rise in flight bookings

Written by Rhik Kundu | Mumbai | Updated: Mar 15 2014, 17:54pm hrs
Online travel portals have registered over 30% increase in flight bookings since the recent announcement by airlines to roll out discounted airfares under the advance booking scheme, for a limited period of time.

We have seen an increase of over 30% on the total number of domestic bookings, compared with a normal period, said Neelu Singh, COO of The metro routes have seen the maximum traction, followed closely by other routes that lead to popular tourist destinations such as Cochin, Jaipur and Ladakh, Singh added.

The standalone figures for the number of tickets sold by the travel portal under the discounted scheme was not available.

Low-cost carriers SpiceJet and Indigo had announce discounted fares on advance purchase of tickets for domestic sectors on March 11, the fourth such discount in the last three months, which eventually led to other carriers following suit.

The discounts by the airlines were between 15-35% off on the air fare, and could be availed for tickets booked between April 1 and September 30, though the bookings would have to be made between March 11 and 16.

A day later, on March 12, state-owned Air India and Jet Airways, entered the fare war by announcing similar discounts under the advance booking scheme.

The bookings have already surged by 35% since the flash sale (on March 11), said a spokesperson of travel website Expedia.

At Expedia, the typical customer is either a holiday maker or traveler from the SME segment, and we have seen a surge of about 25-30% (in this segment), the Expedia spokesperson said, adding This year has already season four flash sales and the top destinations that have seen max traffic include all metros and leading leisure destinations like Goa, Srinagar and Leh, especially for people connecting out of Delhi.

Others like Bangalore Kolkata, and Chennai are also seeing increasing number of bookings post the announcement on discounted airfares.

Rajesh Magow, co-founder of MakeMyTrip, notes that the recent price wars have also helped bring many customers online for the very first time.

Discounts on 30-90 day advance bookings benefit travelers with a longer booking horizon and we can see that the maximum savings are available on long routes, he added.

We have seen over a 300% rise in bookings with every offer and this time seems to be no different, said Sharat Dhall, president of travel portal yatra, adding, We anticipate this to be the last of the flash sales (for the year).