IndiGo Introduces Hotel Booking Option — India Report

Skift Take

IndiGo’s decision to add a hotel booking platform to its website and app seems to be aimed at targeting potential customers looking for a one-step solution for hotel and flight bookings. It is not the first Indian airline to make this move, but for a user base that pivots towards OTAs to find the most price-conscious option as well as deals, will this work?

Low-cost carrier IndiGo has introduced a new hotel booking option on its website and app. The airline said the aim of the integrated service is to allow passengers the convenience of a one-step solution. 

In a statement, the airline said that the customers who choose to fly with IndiGo would be able to avail exclusive discounts over 700,000 properties across 250,000 destinations. 

To develop and manage the hotel platform integrated with the flight platform, the airline has partnered with Vernost Marketing Services, a marketing partner of the Expedia group. Through this, IndiGo customers will be able to access Expedia’s hotel portfolio. 

Not The First: IndiGo is not the first Indian airline to provide this integrated service of flight and hotel booking. Full service airline Vistara has a hotel booking platform powered by online travel agency The platform allows customers to earn 5 Club Vistara reward points for every INR 100 ($1.20) spent on the hotel booking. 

Budget airline SpiceJet also has a Spice Vacations platform that allows customers to book hotels, flights, or flight and hotel combinations as required. 

Expanding Operations: IndiGo is expanding its operations rapidly, while awaiting the launch of its business class later this year. IndiGo CEO Pieter Elbers wants to make the airline a global aviation player, he told Skift in an interview. 

The company has been expanding its network extensively in the domestic as well as the international short-haul markets. It has also been expanding its codeshare partnerships, with the most recent one being a codeshare agreement with Japan Airlines. 

Mumbai International Airport Introduces Digital Gateway Solution

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai has created infrastructure to expand its DigiYatra and non-DigiYatra facility to 68 e-gates. The number of landside e-gates at the airport has been increased from 24 to 68 to allow the airport to process nearly 7,500 passengers an hour at Terminal 2 and over 2,000 passengers an hour at Terminal 1. 

“With the introduction of the digital gateway the wait times are reduced to under one minute at the kerbside,” a statement from the airport authorities said. 

The airport is also working to deploy 118 e-gates at the Pre-embarkation Security Check (PESC) area at Terminal 2 to simplify passenger movement. The airport is also set to install artificial intelligence and machine learning-enabled cameras to enhance the security system at the airport’s kerbside. 

According to data from the Airports Authority of India, Mumbai was the second busiest airport in India during the 2023-2024 financial year, after the Delhi airport. The Mumbai airport witnessed international traffic of over 14.3 million passengers, while for domestic passengers, this number was 38.5 million.

Leela Hotels Likely to Launch IPO in 9 Months

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts is seeking a valuation of approximately $2.5 billion in its upcoming initial public offering (IPO). The company is expecting to raise around INR 31.5 billion ($377 million) from its public offering, making it Indian hospitality industry’s largest-ever IPO. 

The IPO is likely to be listed in the next 9 months. Promoter Brookfield is reportedly going to initially sell 15% of its stake to the public. An additional 10% of its stake will be sold over the next three years. 

However, the IPO will exclude The Leela Mumbai, which Hotel Leelaventure (HLV) Limited, the original owners of Leela, promotes and is already listed.

Sarovar Hotels Launches Sarovar Leadership Development Program 

Sarovar Hotels and Resorts has announced the launch of Sarovar Leadership Development Program in collaboration with hotel management institute Indian School of Hospitality (ISH). The program aims to provide career development opportunities to young professions in the hotel industry. 

The hybrid program, spanning 12 months, is meant to provide students with knowledge, skills, and experience. ISH will be providing academic support and developing the curriculum. 

In an earlier interview with Skift, Sarovar Hotels managing director Ajay Bakaya had said that the program is meant to overcome the challenge of lack of adequate workforce across the hotel industry. 

Korea Tourism Organization Concludes Roadshow in Kochi

The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has concluded its roadshow in Kerala’s Kochi, after holding two events in Mumbai and Bengaluru earlier this year. The roadshows are a significant part of the organization’s strategy to target travel agents across India. 

Myong Kil Yun, regional director for India and SAARC countries at KTO, said that the roadshow allowed the organization to connect with its travel partners. “This event has allowed us to provide them with the tools and knowledge to promote Korea as a premier travel destination,” he added. 

KTO is aiming to welcome 200,000 Indians in South Korea this year. According to data from Visit Korea, this figure was a little over 120,000 in 2023. Between January and April this year, over 53,000 Indian tourists have visited the country, up from about 27,000 Indians that visited South Korea last year during the same period. 

New Series ‘Grand Indian Hotel’ Featuring Oberoi Hotels to Debut This Week

BBC Studios’ streaming service BBC Player is set to debut ‘Grand Indian Hotel’ series on Friday across Prime Video channels. The series features the Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, showcasing its hospitality traditions. 

The three-part series aims to showcase the work that goes into upholding the hotel chain’s hospitality standards, and features The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur; The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur; and The Oberoi, New Delhi.

Speaking at the Skift India Summit earlier this year, the group’s managing director and CEO Vikram Oberoi had said that the company’s focus was not to be the biggest. “That’s not our playing field. Our focus is to be the very best. Our belief is that guests appreciate that and will pay a premium for that. We invest huge amounts — relative to our size — to learning and development for staff. We are far from perfect but we’re striving for perfection.”

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