Vistara – the TATA-SIA JV now allows its customers to directly search and book its flights on google through the integrated “Book on Google” feature. This has been possible with the implementation of NDC (New Distribution Capability) through a partnership with Amadeus.
Google flights has been in the market for nearly a decade and over the last couple of quarters, Google has aggressively tried getting airlines on-board for the direct booking feature. Without a direct booking feature, Google flights works like a META search engine where it pulls fares from various Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and Airlines and re-directs traffic to OTAs for booking, earning a commission from the redirection.
Google flights help a customer to fetch the data linked to their Google accounts. While currently customers cannot view and purchase optional upgrades, NDC has the capability to offer such rich content services and the airline says that these would be available in due course of time. Until then purchase of additional baggage allowance or seat selection has to be done on the Vistara website.
Vistara is the first airline from India to offer such a facility with IndiGo, Spicejet, Go Air and AirAsia India having their flights listed on Google Flights with the option to redirect to the airline website (Direct Channel) or through other OTA’s.
Google flights has some options not offered by other OTA’s or META search engines. This involves a price graph & date grid and ability to search without a destination!
While Vistara is a young airline in the market, its Information Technology infrastructure hasn’t been one of the best – in either design or scalability. When the airline launched its flights to London, the flights were not available for sale on its website for the first few days! The technology and ease of use would be of prime importance as it expands across borders. The airline has 02 B787-9 Dreamliner in its fleet and currently operates to London Heathrow, with 04 more aircraft on order and plans to expand to multiple destinations around the world. The airline has also become the airline of choice for international carriers to codeshare to get access to networks beyond Mumbai and Delhi in India and a robust IT system would go a long way!