CFA Society Singapore
SINGAPORE (Jan 17): Zuji, an Asian online travel booking site, is no longer operational after failing to renew licenses in Hong Kong and Singapore and an air ticketing system terminated its services.
Zuji’s business permits expired Jan. 9 and the firm hasn’t applied for fresh ones, Hong Kong’s Travel Agents Registry said in an email, while Singapore Tourism Board said that Zuji’s license lapsed on Dec. 31. The International Air Transport Association, which represents about 290 carriers globally, terminated Zuji’s participation in its billing service for airline tickets earlier this month, the group said.
The online travel agency is one of the hundreds of travel booking websites that sprouted across Asia amid a travel boom fueled by the emergence of low-cost carriers and economic growth. While rising competition in the industry has presented fliers more options to buy air tickets and reserve hotel rooms, it has also meant cutthroat pricing and thinning margins. Uriel Aviation Holdings bought Zuji from Australia’s Webjet in 2016.
IATA said in an email that it suspended Zuji in November because it had “infringed on its payment obligations for airline ticket sales.” Zuji’s representatives didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comments.
Zuji’s websites for Hong Kong and Singapore showed error messages. A Jan. 11 Facebook post said the site is experiencing technical difficulties with processing refund.
Uriel owns the loyalty program Reward U for low-cost carriers of the U-FLY Alliance, which consists of Hong Kong Express, China’s Lucky Air, West Air, Urumqi Air and South Korea’s Eastar Jet.