The basic difference between the airlines and the travel agencies is that the latter offers a range of travel products while the former generally offer only domestic and cheap international flights. However, with the airlines venturing out in the domain of the travel agencies and beginning to offer a number of products to the customers, this difference is fast obliterating. The usage of internet is also helping in bridging this gap since the online-borne customers can be targeted alike by the airlines as well as the agencies. Earlier the agencies had the leverage of being more accessible to the customers but internet has made it possible to make the have an equal reach to the customers. This has posed a formidable challenge to these agencies which do not own the products but work on commission basis by acting as intermediaries. It is interesting to note some of the strategies being adopted by the agencies and the airlines to safeguard their respective turfs.
Strategies Adopted By The Airlines
- Development of their own online travel stores: In order to snatch the initiative from the online travel agencies, the airlines have begun to offer a range of travel products on their own websites. By increasing the number of products being offered at a single place, the airlines have begun to provide not only the cheap air tickets to the customers but also the best hotel and holiday deals.
- Increased cooperation among the airlines: Moving on the same premise as that of the online travel agencies, the airlines have started partnering with each other and developing their own travel agencies with the aim of increasing their basket of products offerings to the customers. These online agencies aim to provide the cheap air tickets and a host of other travel products outside of their own websites, cheaper than what the traditional online travel agencies provide.
Strategies Adopted By The Agencies
For the agencies to protect their turf from the competition being provided by the airlines moves to deny them their domains, it is important that they increase the ambit of their domains by creating new markets for their offerings. In countries such as India, where the aviation market is not yet mature and the people using the internet for booking are still small in numbers, there is an increasing tendency by the online travel agencies to reach out to the customers in the smaller towns and cities by opening the retail outlets so that the population segment which does not book online can be captured early. This strategy helps in maintaining the crucial reach to the customers which the airlines have not done to an appreciable extent even now. By doing the same, the agencies provide the crucial growth to the airlines, offering market for cheap international flights.
The author is employed with the leading online travel agency of India which seeks to provide the cheap air tickets and the best hotels and holiday deals to the customers. You can book the cheap international flights on this portal.