Soon after enjoying the highest-ever booking record of 450,000 daily earlier this year, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is now planning to collaborate with airlines in order to sell air tickets via its official. A similar portal was launched last year with a mission to offer airline tickets last year in a small way. Today, it has taken shape of a huge and widely accepted platform for seat blocks from airlines. This has been done in a fashion to be marketed and sold via its portal. The managing director of IRCTC, Mr. Rakesh Tandon has confirmed the efforts towards expansion of airline ticket booking operations via offering corporate travel packages. Many full-fledged packages are also being offered these days. He also added that this will become the major area of focus for the ministry at present.
In order to maintain its prominent status in the domestic travel booking space, IRCTC proposes to improve the portal into a one-stop shop for various things including planning of tours, conducting tours and even introduce many ground-breaking amenities. Some if these include branded cards as well as booking through SMS.
The company, owned by the Indian Railways has now turned into an International Air Transport Association (IATA) allied representative last year. This portal on an average will records 360,000 to 370,000 bookings per day. This is compared to 40,000 bookings in the year 2008. Mr. Tandon has also confirmed that the department is targeting 750,000 bookings in a day by the year 2015.
The ticketing industry comprises of about 40 per cent to the total revenue organization of Rs 550 crore. One of the main enterprises in attaining the goal would be to launch booking through SMS as well as rolling out a deposit scheme for various travellers. Additionally, with this plan, IRCTC purposes to decrease the payment time by half.