A possible sign of things to come for Amazon: the e-commerce giant has quietly introduced flight search and booking on its platform in India.

The service is only for flights within India at the moment and is powered by domestic online travel agency, Cleartrip.

Amazon is expected to outline further details regarding the service early next week.

The integration works through the Amazon Pay section in the site, where members can select services ranging from utility bills to gift cards.

A “Flights” button is now featured alongside and takes users to the white label version of the OTA’s existing flight functionality.

Carriers such as AirAsia, IndiGo, Air India and GoAir are shown in the search results.

A 15% cashback offer is currently in play and is redeemed when users complete the booking.

The emergence of a flight booking tool comes amid ongoing speculation that Amazon will make a concerted effort to re-enter the travel space.

Its most recent attempt was the Amazon Destinations service, which opened and closed in the space of five months in 2015.

Much of the talk in industry circles over the course of the last 18 months has been concentrated on what Amazon could do with hotel bookings, so the introduction of flights as a potential first move is surprising.

In an article earlier this week, finance house Morgan Stanley outlined how the entry of Amazon into the online travel business could have far-reaching consequences, especially for the powerful online travel agency incumbents.

The company’s move into the industry could give it a baseline $600 million profit on an annual basis – but this was only taking hotels into account.

In addition, Morgan Stanley says, Google could see its travel ambitions under threat from a range of tactics that could be deployed by a company that already has 300 million estimated and engaged customers.

The Bottom Line: 

Amazon is already Google’s #1 rising competitor, as it continues to creep into nearly every sector of the online market. However, the mega-company has recently also added a new feature (without much public announcement…) into its India platform: flight bookings. This service is only in India and only for national flights– for now. Yet if we see this development into the travel industry, the growth can be sure to continue. Last year, research estimated that Amazon’s investment into the travel sector could earn the business an additional $600 million annually. And still, this figure only took into account hotel bookings. Be on the lookout for more Amazon airline and travel services, as this giant only seems to be getting started.  

For the source of this original article, and more fascinating and cutting-edge travel news, visit: https://www.phocuswire.com/Amazon-flights-india



Author: Shannon Cantor