Anand and Madhura Katti, Mumbai (2010-12-02)
INDIAN online travel agencies (OTAs), Makemytrip and Yatra, have taken a dive into the charter business to augment revenues.
Yatra had its maiden charter flight from Mumbai to Andaman on September 9 while Makemytrip launched charters from Mumbai to the Maldives and Andaman a month later.
Yatra CEO and co-founder Dhruv Shringi said: “We are exploring new ways (of doing business). Through this launch, we sold more in 10 days than what we sold in four years.”
Shringi said typical packages to Andaman cost 10 per cent more as there were no direct flights from Mumbai and passengers had to spend a night in Chennai. “There was an opportunity there so we tapped it.”
Makemytrip CEO Deep Kalra said the OTA saw holiday packages as a profitable addition to its main business of online ticketing, and was looking at standalone, expensive destinations for charter packages.
Kalra said: “Last year, we had very successful Ladakh charters for three months. But we got burnt with charters to Goa during the New Year because an airline servicing the destination increased its frequency during that period.”
Makemytrip intends to eventually extend the charter service to Delhi and Kolkata.