Aviation

OTA suffers major setback following Aussie launch

Traveloka has suffered a major setback following its local expansion, with AirAsia permanently withdrawing sales of its flights from the online travel agency.

The withdrawal covers all flight routes across the AirAsia network, and is in response to the unexplained disappearance of AirAsia Indonesia flights from Traveloka for the second time in the past two weeks, according to the airline.

AirAsia Indonesia president Dendy Kurniawan said: “The omission of our flights has certainly hurt cooperation between AirAsia and Traveloka.

“Traveloka has not acted in good faith. They have refused to provide an official explanation despite our repeated attempts to seek their clarification.”

Kurniawan said the exclusion of several AirAsia Indonesia flights by Traveloka was a clear display of preferential treatment and an act of favouritism.

“We observed through social media messages how customers who enquired about the unavailability of AirAsia flights were recommended by Traveloka to book with other airlines instead,” he said.

“Therefore, in solidarity, AirAsia Group withdraws sales of all of its flights from Traveloka effective immediately.

“Our AirAsia.com website and mobile app are a better alternative where travellers can book flights at the lowest fares directly from us and enjoy discounted hotel promotions.”

AirAsia flights first disappeared from Traveloka between 14 and 17 February, coinciding with AirAsia’s network-wide system upgrade on 16 February.

Traveloka had cited the 13-hour system downtime as the reason for AirAsia flights disappearing from their website in response to queries from customers.

However, AirAsia claims its flights disappeared from Traveloka for a second time on 2 March without clarification, well after the successful system upgrade by AirAsia.

“Competition should be free and fair to ensure consumers benefit from the best deals,” Kurniawan said.

“We should not let monopolies kill competition at the expense of the travelling public.”

Traveloka officially launched in Australia last week to support 20 million foreign tourist visits to Indonesia.

Australian travellers can access Traveloka online for via its app and book five types of products: flight ticket reservation, accommodation, flight and hotel packages, airport transportation, and well as attractions and activities.

Travel Weekly has contacted Traveloka for comment.

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