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Wake up call for OTAs – IRCTC is making 50 Lakh a day by selling Air Tickets

IRCTC launched air travel booking just a month ago and India’s largest ecommerce site, i.e. IRCTC now claims an average sales of Rs. 50 Lakh per day (~1,500 tickets) – just from air tickets sales.IRCTC- logo

IRCTC is offering 10% cashback on the tickets and maybe, that’s one of the reason driving crowd to buy the tickets from the site.

Given that travel tickets are an undifferentiated product and compete mainly on the basis of price, it will be interesting to see how other OTAs that play on user experience and several niche factors compete with the ‘catering service of Indian railways’.

IRCTC Traffic

  • On an average, the site gets over 55 lakh hits per day (over 2 lakh individual visitors)
  • More than 100000 tickets are booked every day (including I-tickets)
  • Every day, around 8000 I-Tickets are sent to around 200 of India’s biggest cities daily in specially crafted envelopes.

[For more details, read our earlier analysis on IRCTC transaction growth rate]

IRCTC – The Business of Travel Business

One of the toughest question for any company to answer is “What Business Am I In?”. Indian railways has a monopoly, but they compete with low cost airlines, they compete with bus services.

While Indian railways still has a long way to compete on its service quality, the catering arm, i.e. IRCTC knows that it is not just in the business of booking train tickets.

IRCTC is in the business of travel booking and that means a gamut of things – right from bus booking to train, to air travel to packaged service.

Given the traffic the site receives, these numbers (i.e. INR 50L/day) seems quite reasonable and serves as a serious threat to OTAs. Now, would you still say Internet not happening in India?

Also see: IRCTC Solves a Customer Pain – Will Operate 23 Hours a day

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