Aviation

Amazon has another crack at travel with launch of flight bookings

E-commerce giant Amazon is allowing users in India to book domestic flights, in a move that commentators say is a step toward building a travel ‘super-app’.

Skift reported at the weekend that Amazon has begun offering domestic flights in India, powered by online Indian travel agency Cleartrip.

It was later confirmed in another report that this was a direct move by Amazon in a strategy toward broader expansion into travel.

Not unlike Google and its recent roll-out of travel tech, Amazon has shown a very real interest in creating a stream-lined system that incorporates travel.

However, the e-commerce company has historically been unsuccessful in planting a foot-hold in the industry, capped by its failed hotels business in 2015, according to Skift. 

That hasn’t stopped it from trying again.

India-based airlines GoAir, Indigo, SpiceJet and Vistara are among the carriers involved in offering flights through the service that reportedly offers roughly $40 cash back on bookings – returned via Apple Pay.

Hospitality consultant Robert Cole tweeted screenshots of the Amazon domestic flights.

“Customers are already using Amazon beyond shopping,” Shariq Plasticwala, director of Amazon Pay, said in a statement.

“Over the past year, customers have rapidly adopted our payments services such as mobile recharges, utility payments, and money transfers. They love the convenience we offer of shopping and paying — all in one single app.”

At this stage, however, the flights are offered in partnership through Cleartrip, as opposed to being offered through an Amazon standalone app.

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