Drawing inspiration from the successful domestic online air ticket auctions model, Indiatimes.com has launched online auctions of international air tickets in tie-up with Air India under a co-branded property called ‘Fly The World’. “It is the first time in India that dynamic pricing of international air tickets has been introduced through an online platform,” says Mahendra Swarup, CEO, Times Internet Ltd.
Indiatimes.com had introduced domestic online air ticket auctions two years ago by tying up with Indian Airlines and Air Sahara. The auction model, powered by a large customer base, robust technology, and promotional and marketing efforts, played its part in the portal’s e-commerce growth.
Now, the ‘Fly The World’ property is expected to provide a whole new experience to the users. The property, for instance, has unveiled to the customers popular international destinations such as Bangkok, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Nairobi, London, Frankfurt, Paris, New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Dubai, complete with bargain fares and guaranteed tickets.
Reflecting on this initiative, V K Verma, Commercial Director, Air India, was quoted as saying that “Air India has been doing exciting things in its endeavor to upgrade its network and product. This is one more step in alliance with our new partner, the Indiatimes.”
What ensures the authenticity of the bidding process? Ashish Kashyap, General Manager, Indiatimes.com, explains that at the bidding stage itself the customer’s credit card authenticity is checked.
As for the bidding process, the customer would have to choose his price and destination any time 60 days to 14 days prior to the date of travel. The auction closes every night and the client during the course of the day could increase his bid price in case of an out bid. The application is backed with instant alerts via e-mail and SMS on aspects such as outbids, winnings and PNR numbers.