Skift Take

For a price-sensitive market like India, EaseMyTrip’s democratization of air charters will enter the mix of new low-cost carriers. Good news for bargain seekers.

While EaseMyTrip’s core business is scheduled air travel, the Indian online travel agency now wants to grow its non-scheduled air travel business and further democratize it.

The online travel company said that its recent acquisition of Nutana Aviation Capital would provide a perfect platform towards this.

“A very solid demand exists and we want to capture the market that exists for non-scheduled air travel,” said Prashant Pitti, founder and wholetime director of EaseMyTrip during an earnings call on Monday.

In December, the company had acquired a 75 percent stake in Nutana Aviation Capital for around $185,000. Nutana Aviation Capital leases charter aircraft and provides charter services.

“EaseMyTrip looks to grow the air charter business, which is highly segmented right now,” Pitti said adding that the company would democratize non-scheduled air travel by fragmenting it.

“At EaseMyTrip we want to democratize the way in which people travel via air charter and offer them the option to purchase just one seat for one-way travel, instead of booking the entire aircraft,” he said.

Pitti said this would find an audience among the 1.2 million daily visitors who visit the website.

EaseMyTrip Set to Grow Its Non-Air Business

EaseMyTrip has also been talking about growing its non-air business and from the time that it went public in India in 2021, it has made significant progress towards this.

“When we got listed, 97 percent of our business was flights and 3 percent was bus, train, hotels and holidays. Now that number is somewhere around 89 percent of flights and 11 percent of everything else,” said Pitti.

He stressed that each of the non-air business, be it bus, train, hotels or holidays are either breaking even or making money for the company.

“Our thought process is not that we want to grow at every cost, we want to grow profitably. We do not want to burn today and earn tomorrow,” he said.

Even as the company looks forward to continue its growth in the non-air space with more acquisitions, it is very cautious and wants to utilize money very judicially.

Last month, EaseMyTrip acquired a 55 percent stake in hotel booking marketplace cheQin, owned by Gleego Innovations, for around $370,000.

Fastest-Growing Online Travel Agency

The company said its recent acquisitions, ongoing brand building investment and its unique, no convenience fee model, are essential for its journey to being the fastest-growing online travel agency.

“By virtue of being the only online travel agency, which is listed in India, the brand validation and acceptability has increased,” said Pitti.

EaseMyTrip recorded its highest ever gross booking revenue of $273 million in the third quarter of the financial year, up from $238 million in the previous quarter.

The earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for the quarter ending December 31 improved to $7.1 million, compared to $4.8 million in the preceding quarter.

EaseMyTrip’s Dubai business reported a cumulative gross booking revenue of $9.1 million from April-December 2022.

“We believe that we are poised to continue our growth, not just in India, but worldwide,” Pitti said, adding, “Our Dubai business is going really strong, so is our UK and Thailand business.”

The company also said that it has signed an exclusive agreement with Indian low-cost carrier Go First Airlines (formerly Go Air) to sell, promote and market passenger tickets and other services in Saudi Arabia for at least three years.


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Tags: asia monthly, charters, dubai, earnings, easemytrip, middle east, online travel newsletter, saudi arabia

Photo credit: EaseMyTrip has been talking about growing its non-air business. Shantanu Goyal / Pexels

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