Mumbai: The country’s top carriers — Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and Air India — plan to start selling holiday packages to international passengers, complete with hotel bookings and tour management services, as another way to shore up ancillary revenues.
Cool comfort: Tourists sunbathe on Calangute Beach in Goa. Airlines is India are offering ready-made, complete holiday packages to international tourists to generate a separate revenue stream.
Mumbai-based full-service airline company Jet Airways (India) Ltd has tied up with the Destinations of the World (DOTW), a wholesale travel firm, for buying hotel rooms across the world for passengers buying holiday products.
The airline has started a portal named ‘Jet Escapes’ for its holiday packages business, currently accessible only to travel agents.
“Our aim is to completely automate this portal so any passenger can directly access the website to buy holiday products,” said Gaurang Shetty, senior vice-president (alliances and interline distribution), Jet Airways.
Jet Escapes offers holiday packages to destinations in London, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Srinagar, Jammu, Goa, Kerala and Rajasthan.
The carrier will start services to more international destinations once the portal is automated, Shetty said.
DOTW, a large aggregator of hotel rooms, distributes more than 80,000 ground services in more than 1,200 cities. This includes hotel accommodation, apartments, transfers and sightseeing tours to wholesalers and retail travel agents through an online reservation system.
Mint could not immediately contact DOTW executives.
Jet’s rival Kingfisher Airlines is also designing a holiday management product as a separate revenue stream.
“We are currently working out a holiday package product with exclusive features and a compelling product profile for domestic and international destinations. I cannot disclose details at this point of time,” said Vikram Malhotra, general manager (marketing), Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.
The holiday packages will help carriers register more volumes and tourists get better deals, said a Mumbai-based aviation analyst, who did not want to be named.
A passenger will be able to get a package to Hong Kong for Rs30,000, including airport transfers and stay in Hong Kong Disneyland for two nights and three days. The lowest airfare now available to Hong Kong from India is about Rs23,000.
Regi Philip, promoter of tourism company Cosmos Agencies, said only 20% of the tourists approach airlines directly for holiday packages. “Travellers need a personal touch for such services. And we can also sell those airline holiday packages,” he said.
Domestic airlines such as Simplifly Deccan, SpiceJet and GoAir have similarly tied up with tourist agencies to offer accommodations along with tickets.