Maritime CEO

Fly Hi: Marine travel in the digital age

Global marine travel provider Fly Hi, a unit of diverse Indian maritime conglomerate Elektrans Group, has gone digital and is now setting a new disruptive e-commerce travel solution standard within the global maritime industry.

Last week, the company announced the launch of its new e-commerce platform Just One Click (JOC).

JOC is a first to market launch and offers a real time digital e-commerce travel booking and a travel management web application.

Varsha Chopra, director of Fly Hi and JOC, says that the company’s strategy is to introduce a new user-friendly e-platform which can offer real time travel options and prices to any given global city pair and door to port request.

According to Chopra, JOC will provide customers with instant access to MIS reports on their travel spend and behaviour so each customer will better understand their travel spend and JOC offers them a platform in which they can further optimise their travel procurement.

Chopra reckons conventional online travel booking platforms do not entertain the complexities and needs for optimal marine travel management.

“This is one of the main reasons why shipping, offshore, O&G as shipmanager companies still use the conventional approach of traditional travel agents thanks to the lack of a truly efficient e-commerce platform alternative tailored to the specific needs and complexities of marine travel,” Chopra explains.

“Global travel management companies tend to have multiple offices in different locations claiming that this is required to provide a quality service. We do not see a value added need for this any longer,” she adds.

Chopra reckons there is a huge gap between what marine travel customers expect and what the current service providers can offer. The shipping community is not really concerned nor interested in the service provider’s large office network but cost optimisation, quality of service and performance are far more important as is crisis management and compliance, transparency and efficiency.

“These gaps led to the conception of JOC backed by extensive research and development efforts over the last three years in close liaison with selected major relevant industry players within the global shipowning, shipmanagement, travel management segments to ensure an easy-to-use state of the art B2B e-commerce platform offering unique e-features and a strong value proposition to the global maritime cluster industry,” Chopra says.

According to Chopra, currently the company is reaching out to key customers directly who are keen to explore taking their travel booking needs digital and has seen strong interest already in both Europe and Asia.

Despite only just launching, JOC is already in development of a phase two upgrade version.

As an Elektrans unit, Chopra says the JOC platform is predominately targeting the third party global customer base and less of its own in-house needs.

“It is a clear priority for us not to become complacent with our own in-house needs but instead immediately face the real time challenges and global competition,” Chopra maintains.

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