A new report released by Germany-based secondary market research firm yStats.com, “Global Online Airline Booking Market 2019” reveals that over one-half of all air travel bookings are now conducted online. The publication also summarizes the key trends in the digital flight booking sector and cites rankings of the top airlines and flight OTAs.
Digital flight bookings rising
Global online air travel bookings surpassed the milestone of 50% of overall flight sales in 2018, and continued to grow in 2019, the yStats.com report reveals. Airline websites, apps and OTAs are increasingly used by travellers to purchase flight tickets, with more than two in three flight bookers surveyed in 2019 valuing the digital experience that these channels offered. Over the forecast period through 2023, online air travel sales are projected to rise further at a steady single-digit compound annual growth rate. Emerging markets are expected to drive most of the airline market growth, above all in the Asia-Pacific region. By mid-2020, China is forecast to overtake the USA as the largest air travel market in the world.
Top trends in online air travel market
Airlines and travel agencies are adopting new technologies such as AR/VR and visual search to improve their customers’ experience and strengthen loyalty amidst growing competition. In 2019, Amazon, Google, Booking.com and Skyscanner launched new digital flight offerings, putting more pressure on airlines, as the yStats.com report reveals. However, direct booking with airlines was still the preferred channel in countries including the USA, South Korea, and Germany. Furthermore, mobile apps offered by airlines are gaining popularity, installed by three in ten travellers surveyed in 2019. Among other purposes, these apps are used to pay for last-minute add-ons, such as extra bags, and to shop for ancillaries.