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Thursday, 21 June, 2018, 13 : 00 PM [IST]

Cleartrip expands overseas footprint with acquisition of Saudi Arabian OTA ‘Flyin’

Online travel aggregator Cleartrip is set to strengthen its footprint in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region by acquiring ‘Flyin’, the largest OTA in Saudi Arabia. Through this partnership, Cleartrip and Flyin will jointly benefit as they make strides to capitalise on the growing shift to online in the MENA region, which is home to a large population of tech-savvy consumers and has among the highest levels of smartphone and Internet penetration in the world. The combined company will have over 60% market share throughout the Middle East, and improved profitability due to better unit economics and larger scale of operations.

The transaction will enable both companies to leverage new technologies, talents and business intelligence to strengthen their travel offerings to cater to a diverse customer base. The transaction will close once final regulatory and corporate approvals are received.

This transaction, the largest in the travel space in MENA, will offer Cleartrip a wider outreach and a larger client base in an adjacent market, providing economies of scale as well as enhanced competencies and regional knowledge. Cleartrip has recorded rapid growth year-on-year since the company made its first international expansion in 2012 to become the largest OTA in the Middle East, the company said in a release.

Stuart Crighton, Founder and CEO, Cleartrip, said, “Having established a strong position in India with our world-class products, we are pushing ahead with our ambitious expansion plans in the MENA market, and together with Flyin, we have reached a major milestone in our journey. The transaction represents the culmination of our search for a strategic partner that has outstanding market association in Saudi Arabia, and shares our business ethos and principles.”

“Building on Saudi Arabia’s evolving entrepreneurial ecosystem, Flyin has firmly established itself as the leading player in the Kingdom’s online travel market. With its strong customer base and rich travel offerings, Flyin is the natural partner for us in the region. We will leverage each other’s strengths to enhance product development and customer experience” added Crighton.

Aditya Agarwal, Head of M&A and Strategy, Cleartrip said, “Cleartrip's focus on delivering an intuitive product and superlative customer experience has cemented our position as the preferred online platform for travellers across India and Middle East and we have proven that our learnings can successfully be exported to other markets. This transaction marks an important step in Cleartrip's endeavours to offer existing and new customers our world-class user experience across Air, Accommodation & Experiences categories.”

Abdullah Al Romaih, Founder, Flyin, commented: “We are embarking on a new journey to reinforce our leadership position in Saudi Arabia’s online travel market. Bringing over a decade’s international experience and industry-leading technologies and skills, Cleartrip will also help us to offer our customers new and enhanced travel experiences. We look forward to having Cleartrip continue to support the economic growth in the Kingdom, as well as the evolving travel needs of our customers.”
 
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