New co-branded website witnesses 125% increase in visits and generates over 25% revenue for Air India Express; Dubai, Bengaluru, Abu Dhabi, Doha emerge top sources of traffic.
INDIA – airindiaexpress.com, the unified customer interface of Air India Express and AirAsia India – the two subsidiary airlines of Air India, has witnessed a surge of visitors within days of launch with the platform, contributing over 25% of international flight revenue on the first day itself, making it the dominant single source of reservations. Flyers of both airlines are now logging in, booking, and managing reservations for both Air India Express and AirAsia India flights on airindiaexpress.com, the new website launched as a major milestone in the integration of the two airlines. airindiaexpress.com is built on the platform of the award-winning AirAsia India website developed by Tata Consultancy Services with the support of Tata Digital and provides a significantly enhanced booking, support and travel experience for Air India Express customers from its historical platform.
The launch of the new website was enabled by the migration to a common reservations and check-in system, which now unifies the entire commercial ecosystem of the two airlines.
Following the successful launch of the reservations system, the airline entities are now focusing on cutting over to common airport check-in systems in a phased manner at all international terminals in India, followed by the overseas network.
Some of the salient features of airindiaexpress.com include:
- Single Sign On (SSO) credentials, integrated with Tata Neu and other participating brands of the Tata NeuPass rewards programme
- Personalised account profile with personal details, travel documents, saved family & friends for single click addition of guests to bookings, GST details for SMEs, past and upcoming bookings and personalised offers and vouchers
- E-commerce style shopping cart, integrated with single sign-on, enables users to seamlessly continue their booking if they leave midway
- A single page vertically stacked accordion-style booking flow, minimising the time between flight search and payments, providing a super-fast and efficient booking experience
- An integrated booking widget offering special fares and benefits for different passenger profiles, including senior citizens, students, doctors and nurses and members of the armed forces and their dependants, ensuring personalised offerings for flyers on the same PNR
- The option to use gender-neutral honorifics for each passenger when booking
- Xpress Check-in – Fastest in the industry 5-second check-in which is already scoring global benchmark level Net Promoter Scores with over 80% of users scoring it a 9 or 10, and stating they would recommend it to their friends and family.
Nearly half the bookings on airindiaexpress.com have been from international markets, with Dubai being the largest source city of traffic and other top international sources of traffic being Abu Dhabi, Doha, Sharjah, and Singapore. Domestic traffic and bookings on the platform have come from metro markets like Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai, reflecting the domestic network and hubs of AirAsia India.
As part of the integration, brand communications and support have also moved to common social media handles on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Online reputation management tools indicate that the integrated social media handles have the highest social reputation score amongst all Indian airlines, driven by faster response and resolution times and massive positive sentiment and feedback on the user experience of the new website and support channels. Advanced AI-powered conversational and multilingual chatbot Tia is also providing seamless 24*7 customer support for both airlines on a common WhatsApp number, Facebook Messenger and on the common website.
With a unified sustainability strategy, the website also offers flyers the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint by planting a tree for every booking, with a geo-location tagged URN Certificate.
A travel agent portal, built and accessible from the same platform, for corporate and retail travel agents in the largely disaggregated market is another key offering of the platform. The travel agent portal offers automated fund upload options, eliminating the need for manual intervention. The platform is also fully automated, from fetching fares to negotiations, enabling travel agents to handle individual and group bookings with ease.
Commenting on the warm response to the integrated platform, Mr. Aloke Singh, Managing Director, Air India Express and AirAsia India said, “The initial phase of integration of Air India Express and AirAsia India has been executed in a robust manner in record time. We have successfully migrated to modern day technology from the legacy systems that were dominant. This migration has been built by leveraging the existing strong attributes of AirAsia India with additional deployment of relevant tech solutions. We are very enthused with the initial response to the newly launched airindiaexpress.com. The unified customer experience is an important aspect of our objective of showcasing the larger strength and scale of the Air India network. We are working on adding even more unique features and integrated service which will deliver enhanced experience and strengthen our position in the minds of the customers.”
AirAsia India flies to 19 destinations across the country while Air India Express operates to 14 international destinations from 20 Indian cities.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.