Value Alliance launches cross-booking portal with some limitations

The Value Alliance has a launched a new website with a booking portal enabling cross-bookings between member airlines.


Summary

  • The Value Alliance has launched a new website with booking functionality;
  • The Value Alliance is now selling cross-bookings but not all of the alliance’s destinations are available;
  • Passengers missing connections will be rebooked and offered hotel accommodation or compensation.

The new website and booking engine went live on 16-May-2018 in conjunction with the Value Alliance’s two year anniversary. Nine LCCs from throughout the Asia Pacific region established the Value Alliance in May-2016; there are currently eight members due to the 2017 merger between Singapore-based Tigerair and Scoot.

CAPA first reported in Mar-2018 about Value Alliance’s plans to relaunch the website and introduce a booking function. CAPA pointed the website had not been updated in two years and the new booking functionality was part of an initiative to boost cross-bookings.

Value Alliance is rolling out a series of marketing campaigns, including online promotions in select markets, over the next several weeks. In addition to promotional fares, passengers booking on the Value Alliance website will benefit from a seamless booking experience combining flights on multiple airlines as well as their ancillary products.

The alliance is offering passengers that book on its website complimentary flight re-accommodation and hotel accommodation, or compensation of up to USD500, when a connection is missed. Passengers are therefore incentivised to book on the new portal rather than book sectors individually on the airline websites.

By offering a cross-booking platform Value Alliance members should also be able to attract passengers who are now flying on competing airlines that offer a more seamless connection experience. On some city pairs, which do not have a nonstop option, Value Alliance members are now at a competitive disadvantage compared to large LCC groups such as AirAsia, as well as full service airlines.

Limitations of the booking function

Value Alliance members serve over 200 destinations – almost all of which are within Asia Pacific – resulting in thousands of potential city pairs. In theory the Value Alliance now has the technology to offer cross bookings on every potential city pair. However, only select city pairs are available.

In fact, the new online booking engine excludes dozens of Value Alliance destinations. For example, Adelaide, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin and Hobart in Australia are not available. Tigerair Australia has 10 exclusive destinations but none are available for sale on the Value Alliance website due to a decision by Tigerair Australia to not participate.

In North Asia, Nagoya in Japan and Jeju in South Korea are among the excluded destinations. Nagoya and Jeju are each only served by one Value Alliance member – Cebu Pacific and Jeju Air respectively. (Most Cebu Pacific and Jeju Air destinations are included in the portal.)

The Value Alliance should push its members to include all destinations. The alliance has had virtually no impact since its launch two years ago as cross-bookings, which have so far been offered on some of the individual airline websites, have been very limited.

Members have invested in the new website and are now starting to promote cross-bookings for the first time. However, the eight member airlines will need to make additional investments and make the Value Alliance a bigger focus if the alliance’s full potential is to be realised.