Wego, the leading travel metasearch site in the Asia Pacific and Middle East, today announced a partnership with Hong Kong’s official carriers Cathay Pacific and sister airline, Dragonair which together serve over 170 destinations worldwide. The Asian airlines are one of the first leading full service carriers to adopt and embrace metasearch as part of their distribution model from within the region.
“We are thrilled that we are now able to offer Wego’s millions of monthly flight search users the opportunity to see the best airfares from Hong Kong’s leading carriers,” said Dean Wicks, Chief Flights Officer for Wego.
Cathay Pacific is Asia’s most awarded carrier having won the title of Asia’s Leading Airline six times, and currently holds the title of World’s Best Cabin Crew from the Skytrax World Airline Awards, as well as Asia’s Leading Airline Economy Class at the prestigious World Travel Awards.
“Close partnership with metasearch engines, like Wego, is a cornerstone of our online distribution strategy and we want to be wherever customers are searching for travel options – it’s a great opportunity to present Cathay Pacific and Dragonair to a customer. Metasearch is a key channel leading to direct bookings and the opportunity for us to deliver against our world class service and product proposition,” said Catherine Hornby, Manager Digital Retail at Cathay Pacific.
The integration of Cathay Pacific and Dragonair provides the widest choice of fare types available per flight segment, right down to last seat availability. With such detailed displays of comparisons, consumers now have more fares, seats and options for making bookings directly on the airlines’ websites.
“Our proposition for airlines is so strong, we do believe that we are the most effective form of distribution for a carrier other than direct bookings,” explained Wicks.
“Carriers are given an option to be able to connect directly to Wego which by-passes the GDS providing a completely personal, direct and engaged connection with their customers,” he said. “As the carrier becomes the merchant of record for all bookings, they increase top line sales revenue and have the ability of pre-flight sales of their ancillary services. While Low Cost Carriers still represent a smaller part of the Asian aviation industry, a large proportion already embrace the metasearch model, the success of which can be measured by double digit growth rates.”
“Apart from expanding their reach to new target audiences probably one of the most important of all gains for carriers is the direct relationship with the passenger which gives them the Lifetime Value,” Wicks added.
“Travellers are becoming more tech savvy and increasingly adopting Wego as the most efficient form of locating the best flights and accommodation options globally,” Wicks continued. “We’re thrilled to see our hard work is paying off with more Asian carriers directly connecting with Wego, and to have leading carriers from the Cathay Pacific group recognise travel metasearch as a part of their distribution mix is even more pleasing which directly benefits the consumer with more choice.”
Wego is also providing a ‘Route Sponsorship’ premium placement to Cathay Pacific and Dragonair which increases their marketing exposure on selected city pairs such as Singapore to Hong Kong, as well as 5th Freedom flights, such as Singapore to Bangkok, with additional branding and promotional messaging opportunities that are tied to the city pairs.
“We have been witnessing great results for this placement with carriers seeing substantial growth of both traffic and bookings after implementing this option,” added Wicks.
As one of Asia’s major hubs Hong Kong will also benefit from the wider exposure to Wego’s millions of users.
Wego’s extensive airline inventory is growing rapidly, and available at 52 localised country sites in 30 languages.