Google Flights enters into an agreement with online travel portal Cleartrip

Google Flights, a mobile application for searching flights and information, has signed a pact with online travel portal ClearTrip as the company is now looking to rapidly expand to growing Indian airline market.

This agreement with Cleartrip marks the fourth such pact from Google Flights. Since Google launched the app in India in 2015, it has tied up with airlines Jet Airways and Vistara as well as travel portal Via.com.

Balu Ramachandran, head of air and distribution at Cleartrip, confirmed this tie-up and said that this would allow the Cleartrip flight inventory and prices to be visible on the Google platform.

Google launched the application globally in 2011 after it acquired ITA Software. It is basically a meta search engine that lists inventories from airlines as well as online travel portals and allows to make transactions.

Google Flights allows open-ended searches based on criteria other than destination. Thus, a user may search for flights within a range of times and a budget and be given various destination choices. User can select a destination and the application calculates every price for each day of the year, in a graph or table form.

A top executive of the company said to Economic Times,

One advantage with Google Flights is that it allows the listed supplier to retain ownership of the customer. This means the supplier charges insurance tariffs, etc. and, more importantly, retains intelligence and data such as travel and booking patterns of the customer. This doesn’t happen in case of booking through an OTA (online travel agency).

Vikas Agnihotri, industry director, Google India, said,

For Google, this partnership with Cleartrip is important as it helps expand our offering, and provides consumers with another way to conveniently plan and book their travel.

Citing a report from Google and the Boston Consulting Group, he said that the Indian travel market is projected to grow to $48 billion by 2020 with its biggest contributor, air travel, expected to expand at 15% to $30 billion.