Google has tied-up with travel portal Cleartrip to expand the reach of Google Flights in India, reports The Economic Times. This is Google’s fourth partnership in the country after the application’s launch in 2015 following previous partnerships with airlines Jet Airways and Vistara, and travel portal, according to ET report. The search giant’s Flights feature allow users to search, compare and book flights via the search engine on desktops, mobiles and tablets.

Interestingly, at the time of Google Flights’ entry in India, Cleartrip’s chief marketing officer, Subramanya Sharma had pointed out to MediaNama that this will have limited success in the Indian market, as the consumer pricing on the air market is fairly homogenous across airlines & OTAs. Also, most of the trusted OTA service brands are not present in the Google Flights search product and hence the service outcomes for consumers might be different from what they have been experienced so far. Additionally, he mentioned that India is mainly low cost carrier model, and many airlines like Air Asia, Air Costa etc. are missing. Additionally, through Google Flights, consumers are forced to pick the same airline on both legs for LCC’s. So this might have repercussions on pricing.

OTA space in India

-The Online Travel Agency (OTA) space is dominated by players such as MakeMyTrip, Yatra, amongst others. Moreover, State-run IRCTC  launched a mobile application last year for booking flights called IRCTC Air on the Google Play Store.

-MakeMyTrip’s air ticketing revenues increased by 73.1% to $41.3 million for the quarter ended June 30 (Q1 FY2018) from $23.9 million in the same quarter last year. The gross bookings increased 76% to $649.97 million from $369.25 million in Q1 FY17. Also, MakeMyTrip and GoIbibo group has announced a merger deal in October last year, which is considered as one of the largest consolidations in the OTA space.

-For, the air/flight ticket booking business generated revenues of Rs 106.32 crore for the quarter ended June 2017 (Q1-FY18),  up 25.6% YoY from Rs 84.6 crore revenue in the same quarter last year. Net Revenue Margin was at 6.1% during Q1FY18. The total amount paid by Yatra customers for air tickets stood at Rs 1735.58 crore, up 25.8% YoY from Rs 1380.16 crore.