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ebookers looks to India for cost savings

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ebookers blamed Iraq and SARS for falling demand in longhaul flights. But the UK's biggest online travel firm expects a bounce-back in the winter, on the basis of good forward bookings.

Pre-tax "adjusted" losses (i.e. with out interest, depreciation etc.) for the three months to June end were £0.9m, half that of last year. Gross sales leaped 67 per cent to £118m. Presumably this reflects the acquisition of Travelbag, the longhaul specialist, bought for £55m in January 2003.

ebookers is migrating much of Travelbag's sales onto the Internet and is moving back offices to the group's new customer centre in New Delhi. The company reckons it made savings of £1.4m by transferring BPO ops to India.

Today it announced plans to increase staff in India from 600 to 2,000 and to start touting for third party business process outsourcing work. This will trade as Tecnovate. ®

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