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SOURCE: ANI

EaseMyTrip CEO Nishant Pitti has addressed the recent controversy surrounding the company’s decision to halt bookings for Maldives hotel and flight reservations. Mr Pitti stated that the boycott of Maldives bookings is a long-term commitment and not an easy decision for the company.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Nishant Pitti, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of EaseMyTrip, said, “Dear @INCIndia, thank you for your concern. @EaseMyTrip has halted Maldives bookings from January 8th until today. Some bookings did occur between May 16th – 26th, but we took immediate action and got them removed.”

He emphasized the company’s dedication to a nationalistic approach, stating, “We’ve been serving for the last 16 years without any foreign investments. Yes, you’re right, nothing is permanent–the money will come and go. But our nationalistic approach will never change. By the way, we are here for the long haul, and it’s not easy for us to go. Hope you understand.”

This response came after Kerala Congress questioned EaseMyTrip on X, highlighting the company’s earlier decision to remove Maldives from their platform as a show of support for Prime Minister Modi.

The Congress party questioned the resumption of bookings, asking, “A couple of months ago, online travel aggregator @EaseMyTrip made a nationalistic move by removing the Maldives as a destination from their flight and hotel booking platform to support PM Modi. Now they have quietly resumed booking to Maldives. We are wondering what happened. Is it a sign of something? Is money more important than PM Modi? Money will come and go, and so is PM Modi!”

Recently, screenshots circulating on social media showed Maldives bookings available on EaseMyTrip, prompting questions about whether the company had reversed its boycott.

Nishant Pitti clarified on social media that the boycott remains in place and any future changes would be formally announced.

EaseMyTrip initially halted operations in Maldives in January after three Maldivian ministers made derogatory comments about Prime Minister Modi following his visit to Lakshadweep.

The suspension of flight bookings to the Maldives, made in solidarity with the government, impacted 240,000 annual bookings through their platform. Prashant Pitti, co-founder of EaseMyTrip, noted a significant 40 per cent surge in bookings last year compared to the previous year.

Despite the boycott, EaseMyTrip recently reported its highest-ever earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for the fiscal year 2024, amounting to ? 2,282 million, reflecting a 19 percent year-on-year growth.

The company’s consolidated revenue from operations for the same period reached ? 5,906 million, marking a 32 percent increase compared to the previous fiscal year.

In the fourth quarter of FY24, EaseMyTrip demonstrated impressive growth across various segments, with 1.4 lakh hotel night bookings, representing a 39 percent increase over the previous year and contributing 12 percent to the segment revenue.