Indian online travel company MakeMyTrip will be foraying into the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held. Ahead of the tournament’s start date of September 19, MakeMyTrip has announced that it would be expanding its services to the UAE, across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Umm Al Quwain.
This year, the company is the official partner of IPL franchises Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Its entry into the new market will be led by a marketing campaign for potential customers across India and the UAE.
“As the travel industry gets back on the rails after pandemic-led disruption, we continue to believe in the long-term opportunity in travel and are confident of the opportunity that the UAE market represents as a global travel hub,” MakeMyTrip cofounder and group CEO Rajesh Magow said.
The travel industry was indeed hit hard due to the financial disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic this year. Several online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Yatra and MakeMyTrip, as well as hospitality and mobility startups such as OYO and Ola, announced pay cuts and layoffs for their employees.
In June, Inc42 reported that MakeMyTrip had laid off 350 employees across departments. Last month, the company’s financial statement revealed that it had seen a nearly 96% drop in revenue in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2020-21 (FY21).
However, the company’s cofounder Deep Kalra had expressed confidence about the recovery of the business. “MakeMyTrip is very well-positioned competitively, operationally and financially to begin its business recovery following India’s prolonged nationwide lockdown, which was in full effect in April and most of May,” he had said.
“During the lockdown, we restructured our operating costs, rightsized our staffing needs, further enhanced our online experiences and unified our platforms to drive greater user experiences with greater development efficiencies. Additionally, in order to increase our balance sheet strength, we have secured credit and guarantee facilities of approximately $100 Mn,” he added.