Travel apps have seen a massive surge in downloads worldwide as well as in India despite inflation and the looming fear of an economic slowdown.
The global downloads of travel and navigation apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play surpassed 1.4 billion between January and May 2022, up by 25% Year-on-Year (YoY), according to the latest data shared by app analytics firm data.ai (formerly App Annie).
In India, some airline booking apps have seen up to a 400% increase in downloads. For instance, downloads for the IndiGo app grew 119% YoY, while downloads for the Emirates airlines app grew by 425% YoY. Air India (25%) and AirAsia (+22%) were the other two airlines with the highest increase in app downloads.
In the travel booking segment, Cleartip was the most downloaded app with a 3,990% YoY growth rate during the five months covered by Data.ai. MakeMyTrip (+40%), GoIbibo (+31%), Booking.com (+52%), and Oyo Rooms (+14%) are the other apps in the top five that saw the highest increase in downloads.
Booking apps on their part are also offering massive discounts to customers. For instance, last month, Cleartrip announced a Cleartrip Tatkal scheme offering a 50% discount on bookings of all domestic flights and hotels on limited bookings.
“We see unprecedented demand for travel, and it’s only going to increase over the time,” Kunal Dubey, CMO of Cleartrip said at the time of the announcement of the scheme.
Growth in travel-related activities can be attributed to the pent-up demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The decline in cases and relaxation of travel restrictions across the world and in Indian states are some of the developments that have fuelled the surge in downloads of apps to plan summer travel.
Though downloads have increased, airline companies are under stress due to the increase in fuel prices. Early this month, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta urged the civil aviation ministry to increase the upper limits on domestic airfares as the rising fuel prices are becoming a problem for the sector.
Some airline companies such as SpiceJet have already announced an increase in fares.