Google to launch flight search and compare service in India, may affect existing OTA’s

Google is soon launching its flight search services in India. The company is “very close” to  introduce its new service in the country, people with direct knowledge of the plan told Economic Times.

With already having similar service available in US and few European countries, Google’s plan to pitch Indian air-travel industry will help Indian public to compare airfares across several airlines and book the best deal directly from the airlines websites.

However, at present if one tries to use Google Flight Search service for Indian airfare deals, the website denies the request and states that “flights from India are not currently supported.”

The move can impact the business of several Indian flight aggregators like Yatra, Makemytrip and other international websites who provide Indian air-travel deals like South Hall Travel, a UK based travel agency focusing Indian flight industry.

Economic Times also mentioned that in response, the aggregators are considering steps to possibly file a complaint to the competition commission against Google, claiming discrimination by Google when it comes to search results for queries relating to online travel.

In 2010, Google took its first step in introducing this service by acquiring ITA Software, a Cambridge, Massachusetts flight information software company, for $700 million – with a vision to help users compare flight tickets and encourage them to buy flight tickets online.

Started with US in September 2011, the service was extended to few other European countries earlier this year, including UK, Spain, Netherlands, France and Italy.

  • Akhil