Mil­lions of trav­el­ers tap­ping apps to track their own flights mil­lion

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By ZHU WENQIAN

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.

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