Skyscanner bets big on growing mobile use

Navadha Pandey New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on May 22, 2015

Global travel search portal Skyscanner is betting big on growing smartphone penetration in India and plans to focus on product creation for the country’s market.

“India is looking well for us,” said Andy Sleigh, General Manager, Asia-Pacific, Skyscanner. “In terms of potential, we are just scratching the surface. The cost of smartphones is plummeting, and the number of people with access to internet is rising,” he added.

The company saw India record an increase of 123 per cent in the number of average unique monthly visitors through mobile in 2014, against 2013. Globally, mobile visitors grew 77 per cent in the same time period. “Interestingly, for Indian market, mobile accounts for 60 per cent of the traffic, while 40 per cent are through desktop. Globally, for Skyscanner, mobile accounts for 50 per cent of the traffic, while the rest comes from desktop,” Sleigh added.

The company has presence in 35 markets. While India accounts for a relatively small percentage of its revenues, Sleigh said the country has recorded a 145 per cent increase in revenue in 2014-15 compared with the previous year.

Gareth Williams, CEO and co-founder, Skyscanner, said, “It’s important that we offer buses and rail for the Indian domestic market. We want to focus on product creation for the market and make sure we integrate the multi-modal operations so some routes are actually viable for bus, rail and air.”

The portal currently doesn’t offer information on rail travel. “We don’t have a timeline on when we could offer this on our platform. Our first job is to get access to the data and we need to work with Indian Railways,” Williams added.

Last year, the portal tied up with IPL team Delhi Daredevils as its official travel partner. This is the second year of the partnership. “We have seen a great impact on brand awareness in the Indian market. The number of Twitter followers has doubled during the period of the campaign,” Sleigh said.

Published on May 22, 2015
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