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MakeMyTrip launches train booking app in 5 Indian languages


MakeMyTrip has launched an Android app where users can book round trip train tickets in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu. The company said that it was investing in services supported by regional content. The app offers booking of general and Tatkaal tickets to all routes in India, train information from nearby stations and fare details. Users can also search by train number, PNR status and seat availability. 

Last November, the company had said that it was launching a Hindi app with plans to support 4 more languages in the first half of this year. However, at that time, we were unable to find the Hindi app on the Play Store. MakeMyTrip currently offers 4 apps on the Play Store: Flight booking, IRCTC booking, Trip ideas and Hotel Right Now, all of which are in English with the exception of the IRCTC app.

Segregation of flight and train apps
We’re not really sure as to why the company offers two different apps for train and flight booking. Its competitors like Cleartrip (flight, trains, hotels and buses), Yatra (flights, hotels, buses), Goibibo (flights, hotels, buses), Ixigo (flights, hotels, search only trains and buses) and Expedia (flights, hotels and rental cars!) all offer the same in a single app. From a user perspective, it would be hassling to open more than 1 app to book for a multi-travel channel trip because if your trip consisted of buses, flights AND train bookings, you’d need to deal with all of these separately.

TN, AP, Kerala and Gujarat contribute to ⅓ of total bookings
It also revealed some statistics about where its bookings came from. MakeMyTrip claims that train bookings from non-metros in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Gujarat contributed to over a third of total rail bookings on the platform. Mobile bookings from non metros in Gujarat exceeded the desktop bookings, while online train bookings from Kerala non metros were the third highest in travel bookings (flights, hotels, bus bookings).

MakeMyTrip train ticket booking on the decline
In June, we reported that the number of rail ticket bookings on MakeMyTrip declined sharply over the past three years. MakeMyTrip facilitated

  • 194,856 transactions for rail tickets in 2014-2015;
  • 245,542 transactions in 2013-14 and
  • 387,991 transactions in 2012-13

The number of transactions in 2014-15 were almost half of that in 2012-13. The NASDAQ-listed company did not reveal the reasons behind this decline in train ticket transactions. MakeMyTrip had first started selling train tickets on its platform in 2009 after partnering with IRCTC, to access the latter’s online passenger reservation system.

Train, bus and other revenues
While MakeMyTrip doesn’t report revenues from train ticket transactions separately, its ‘Other Revenue’ primarily comprised revenues from commissions or fees from IRCTC for the sale of rail tickets, bus operators for the sale of bus tickets, fees from facilitating access to travel insurance policies to customers, and third-party advertising on its website. For the quarter ended March 31, 2015, MakeMyTrip’s other revenue declined by 9.8% YoY to $1.23 million, from $1.37 million in the same quarter last year, while for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, ‘other revenue’ increased to $1.5 million from $1.1 million in the same quarter last year, primarily due to an increase in facilitation fees on travel insurance.

Financials; air ticketing on the rise
In the first quarter of 2016, losses continued to widen at the online travel agent, at $6.9 million as compared to $4 million in the same quarter last year. In the preceding quarter, the company posted losses of $4 million. This is MakeMyTrip’s eleventh straight loss making quarter. However, revenues from Air ticketing business grew by 20% to $19.8 million for the quarter, from $16.5 million in the same quarter last year. Transactions for air ticketing grew by 45.6% y-o-y to 1.605 million in the quarter. MakeMyTrip CEO Deep Kalra had informed that in Q4-FY15, mobile users accounted for more than 40% of total online traffic and 22% of online transactions for the company in India.

Check our MakeMyTrip coverage here.

Image credits to the author

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