A wave came over South-East Asia in the last couple of years, that can probably be summed up in two words: Rocket Internet. While Rocket is all over the news, there are other tech companies that have set foot into the local market, particularly from Russia.
Last year we wrote about the SEO service UpToPromo, which is of Russian decent. Now Aviasales, the leading Eastern European flight search engine launched Jetradar.co.th, a fully localized flight search engine for the Thai market currently managed by CEO Max Kraynov. This went along with a recent 10million investment from iTech Capital.
JetRadar is a travel search engine that allows users to compare airline prices, track down special offers, and book the cheapest tickets available.
The website has been multilingual for quite some time but has now its Thai office in Phuket, which should come as a healthy addition to the local travel websites, since it is an area that has until now, been mostly been neglected.
JetRadar began in 2007 as an airfare blog by founder Konstantin Kalinov. The catalyst for the business came the following year when Russian airfare distribution was liberalized, allowing the sale of e-tickets. Now JetRadar and its parent site Aviasales.ru receive more than 2,500,000 visits per month. Operations in Thailand started in March 2013 but it took until last November before the website went eventually live.
Like its competitors SkyScanner, or Kayak, JetRadar lists online flight deals and travel packages from around the world. Lists are organized from least to most expensive. The Flight Details (results) page will show flight options, and allow users to filter results. Additional JetRadar offers an ECO Rank, which lets users filter for the most ecologic friendly flights.
While this the ECO rank is probably not the greatest attention grabber for the Thai market, JetRadar is one of the first – if not the first – comparison services focusing on the Thai market. While this does not seem to be too relevant, the booking location of flights actually matters when it comes to the price for tickets, which can eventually result in lower airfares if one compares through a domestic service.
Currently bookings are still often made through travel agencies. Those agencies provide, badly designed, search forms but often do not accept credit card payments, or even online confirmations. All too often they will hold the ticket for 24 hours. Payment has to be made via bank transfer, and subsequently confirmed by phone, or in-store. Price comparison or “metasearch” allows users to get a range of options to choose from which caters better to individual needs, and the lower prices that flight search engines provide allows users to spend less money on air miles and more on the more enjoyable aspects of travel. In addition, JetRadar is showing the final price, including taxes and fees on their website. A great distinguishing factor particularly compared to low cost airlines like Air Asia. JetRadar calls it «Fare price» policy. It affects all partners integrated, by forcing them to provide the final price.