THE INDIAN Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) is stepping up efforts to grow its online flight booking business, a move that is likely to have a significant impact on Indian OTAs.
Already one of the country's largest e-commerce operators through its handling of Indian Railways' catering, tourism and online ticketing operations, IRCTC is looking to boost its share of the domestic online air ticketing market by leveraging on its high website traffic.
Since launching air-ticketing services last year, IRCTC has become an IATA member and tied up with domestic airlines to sell air tickets in bulk through its portal. The company is also enhancing its booking system to accommodate the expansion.
Deepak Narula, managing director, Aman Travels New Delhi, which operates Bookajourney.com, said: “IRCTC’s move to expand its online air ticketing business is one more attempt to take away the market share of small- and medium-sized travel (consultants).”
“Nowadays everybody, whether it is airline or travel consolidator, is trying to reach the clients directly. This is a threat to travel (consultants).”