Leela palace bangalore/PARIS/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – By Karan Mehrotra was booked on a flight from Delhi to Guwahati, he was not going to go to a travel agent or an airline website.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the web service of Amazon, is pictured in this June 8, 2017, in an illustration picture. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/Image/File Photo
Instead, he went to the Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, now sells tickets to Indian customers and provide them with a convenient payment and cash-back.
“It was a lot simpler,” Mehrotra said one of the flight books through Amazon. “The integration of the majority of my life under a common platform.”
The airlines are worried that the Amazon is the good start of the domestic air ticket sales in India last month, is just the start of a global trend, and it’s the start of a battle for control of the valuable traveler information.
For years, airlines have found it difficult to compete with online travel agencies like Expedia, Group, Group, Inc, corporate travel agents, that is, a large number of customers, Travelport Chief Executive Gordon Wilson said.
“They’ve got nothing left, if Google is in such a position, or to the Amazon,” he said in a CAPA Centre for Aviation conference this month. “I think that the airlines have to be very vigilant about it.”
Some of the carriers such as AirAsia and Easyjet are building a digital travel companies to help drive profit-and to keep passengers loyal flying.
AirAsia’s website and app provides an all-in-one travel and lifestyle market, for the sale of flights, hotels, activities and retail products. It has launched a digital wallet company with the name of BigPay.
“The amount of volume that we generate from our ticket sale has been large – larger than many of the other agencies, would be to sell it. So, we might as well do it ourselves, and it will probably sell a lot more,” AirAsia Executive Chairman Kamarudin Meranun told Reuters at the Paris air show.
Europe’s easyJet is signing up to a direct booking contracts with hotels to provide more flexibility in the prices of packaged holidays, available on the website. The easyJet Holidays product will be available for the summer of 2020, the reservations by the end of the year, the airline said in a presentation last month.
But companies such as Amazon and the Alphabet, Google will have the upper hand because of their extensive knowledge of the buying habits might give them an advantage over the companies to present attractive offers, travel industry executives said.
In India, the Amazon, has teamed up with a local online travel agency, Cleartrip has to offer the domestic airline’s reservations, with bigger discounts for members of its loyalty club Prime.
“They have an edge on the books of a vacation, but for most people, it is a low frequency purchase, but in the majority of other products are available on Amazon to buy a higher frequency,” said Seth Borko, senior research analyst at Skift.
“If Amazon can sell it at a discount on flights, but you’ll earn it back as a part of this promotion, customers who shop for other Amazon products, as well as of their Prime membership.”
Amazon has dipped into the travel industry. The company has launched the Amazon Destinations by 2015, and for customers to book hotel rooms at great AMERICAN tours, including Napa Valley and the Hamptons. However, it will close the service down in the same year, after failing to gain traction in a crowded field of online travel agencies.
Four years later, Amazon is a strong company in which the interest rate is in the brick-and-mortar shop, air cargo, health care, and the well-known has sent shock waves through an ever growing number of markets, and the extension of the source of information about its users.
In India, shoppers have turned to Amazon for purchase, including the film’s bookings, orders, and utility payments.
“The payment is very simple, because I let my Pay account is charged,” said Atanu Khatua, a 34-year-old businessman from West Bengal, who was booked on a flight to Delhi, on Amazon.
In the Amazon, which is expanding the services that are available through the “Alexa” digital assistant, the Amazon Echo, a smart speaker, this is not revealed plans for the roll-out of its ticketing services, the product outside India.
Amazon’s Pay to the Director Shariq Plasticwala declined to comment on whether it would expand into India, to areas such as the hotel reservations.
THINK OF A DIGITAL
The airlines that are operating in a highly regulated environment, with high fixed costs, the need to think more like a digital retailers for the distribution of profits, the Kenya Airways CEO, Sebastian Mikosz said.
“If we don’t take it on an OTA (online travel agency) business model, we will have the technology to companies in sub-sectors,” he said at the CAPA conference.
“If Amazon wanted to buy one, two, or three airline-that would not be an effort for both of them. I think that’s the only reason why they don’t do it, because it’s just not practical. It is much better to get issues outside and take in the margin to yourself.”
Not every carrier has the money or the inclination to compete with tech giants such as Amazon. But some of them are looking for clients.
“We are working closely together with online agencies, but we will be looking at the possibility of working with Amazon,” Philippine Airlines ‘ CEO Jaime Bautista said at the Paris air show.
CAPA Executive Chairman Peter Harbison said the tickets would be in the face of “dramatic changes” in the next couple of years.
“Those of you who are going to be successful, are the ones who are actually going to be working with them, an Amazon, or something like that,” he said.
Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee Bengaluru, Alistair Smout in Paris, and Jamie Delivered in Singapore; Additional reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Writing by Jamie Freed; Editing by Tim Hepher and Edmund Blair