Millions of travelers tapping apps to track their own flights million
A niche market has developed for real-time flight information apps as a result of frequent flight delays and inaccurate information.
State-owned Umetrip and the private sector’s VeryZhun and Flight Steward are the leading apps in the niche market. The three cooperate with a large number of airlines and airports to gather and publish information for travelers.
Such information includes flight status, real-time air traffic, seat availability and seating charts.
Umetrip, powered by China TravelSky Mobile Technology Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China TravelSky Holding Co, was launched on both Android and iOS platforms in 2012.
“We are the only governmentowned enterprise that provides flight information,” said Bo Manhui, CEO of TravelSky Mobile Technology and founder of Umetrip.
“We don’t advertise much and mainly expand by word of mouth. We have more than 30 million users, and we still need to discover more advanced and market-oriented business models,” he said.
Umetrip’s advantage is data provided by its parent. So much so it has become the most well-known brand under the group.
Within a few years, it has developed many innovative functions, including search for the status of previous related flight, which can help travelers to access information related to their flight.
Umetrip hopes to increase its investments and market share. Currently, the company cooperates with more than 80 airports, and plans to bring on board more than 20 others by the end of the year.
“Still, we face significant competition and operating pressures as well as brain drain. As an innovative company, people are our core and we need to respect their talents, draw on their work experience in internet-based businesses and set up mechanisms to make them integral to our operations,” Bo said.
VeryZhun has signed agreements with some airports, including the Guiyang airport in Guizhou province, to provide air travel information on airport screens.