In the global travel industry’s first collaboration of its kind, Travelguru (www.travelguru.com), India’s leading online travel agency, has partnered with iXiGO.com (www.ixigo.com), India’s leading travel search engine, to power its flights search. All airline searches and bookings on Travelguru will now be powered by iXiGO’s travel search engine, enabling travelers to search for lowest airfares and then book them directly on airline sites, using iXiGO’s award-winning product.
Travelers using Travelguru’s flight search functionality will be able to compare offers from airlines, and book them directly on airline sites by clicking on links on the results page. This will allow travelers to complete the transaction more efficiently, and will save them booking fees charged by other travel portals. With travel agency commissions for airline bookings going down to zero, airline tickets will become more expensive when booked through travel agents, both offline and online. Airlines in India will thus favour increased direct online bookings on their own websites. In such a market environment, iXiGO’s consumer-friendly meta-search technology is enabling online travel portals such as Travelguru to move from an agency-model to a search-model, thereby making the site an operationally efficient and airline-friendly distribution channel.
Stressing on the innovative nature of this collaboration, Aloke Bajpai, Founder and CEO of iXiGO said, “We are truly breaking new ground by becoming the first travel search in the world to partner with an online travel agency to power its airline bookings. With this partnership, iXiGO will enable Rs. 18 crores (~ US $4M) worth of flight transactions every month. Travel search is clearly set to become the dominant paradigm for airline bookings in India.”
Ashwin Damera, Founder & CEO, Travelguru added, “We have chosen iXiGO.com to power our flight searches due to our belief in their team, product and technology. This partnership will allow Travelguru to focus on our core strengths, that is, hotel bookings and holiday packages. It will also allow us to trim down costs and offer our travelers the most feature-rich air product in India. With an exhaustive flight search engine and quicker navigation, customer will have best-in-class booking experience. We are delighted to set an example for the rest of the world to follow.”
The Travelguru-iXiGO partnership validates recent findings from global market research firm PhoCusWright, which suggest that growth of referral- and ad-based revenue is challenging the dominance of traditional bookings-driven business models in online travel. Hybrid business models are appearing, with travel suppliers and intermediaries mixing and matching their offerings to assume new roles in the search-shop-buy process, what is known as “The Perfect Storm”.