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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Expedia to capture larger pie of India's travel market

Vivek Sinha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 10, 2012
First Published: 21:39 IST(10/4/2012) | Last Updated: 21:41 IST(10/4/2012)

India's airline industry may be struggling to stay afloat yet online flight bookings remain a lucrative growth opportunity, at least for the foreign firms.

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The US-based Expedia that entered Indian market in early 2008 has chalked out plans to capture a larger pie of the country's $22 billion (Rs 113,000 crore) travel market.

"Online travel and flight bookings in India is growing annually at a robust 32-33%, which is one of the fastest across the world," Dan Lynn, CEO Expedia Air Asia told HT. "This is the right time to step up our business initiatives."

Lynn added that the company's growth strategy lies in offering complete travel packages that would include booking for hotels and buses apart from the flight tickets.

Of the $22 billion India's travel market, transactions worth $7 billion (Rs 35,000 crore) happen online at present.

"We will offer, 'pick and choose' facility wherein an individual can choose hotels and flights according to their budget and preference," he said and added that most other travel sites offer pre-packages tour options that leave little choice for a customer.

In sync with its commitment to offer great customer experience, Expedia Air Asia has suspended flight bookings for the beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines.  

Lynn said that the company has tie-ups with all airlines apart from around 3000 India hotels and major bus operators in India that would put it much ahead of other players in the league.

Expedia has earmarked an investment of $20 million (Rs 100 crore) in India by 2013.


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