People, Travel

Airbnb Planning Foray Into Air Travel

Efforts by other accommodation companies to enter the air travel market have not been very successful.Efforts by other accommodation companies to enter the air travel market have not been very successful.

Airbnb plans to spread its wings into air travel, pitching the home-rental startup against the likes of Expedia, Skyscanner and Google.

According to Bloomberg, the new flights service is still in the early stages of development but could be launched within the next 18 months.

Telegraph Travel reports that the new platform is called Flights.

Existing flight booking sites will no doubt be nervous of a move into the airspace by Airbnb, reported.

Since launching in 2008, the company has caused significant disruption to the hotel industry. Valued at $30 billion, Airbnb is now estimated to be worth 30% more than Hilton, the world’s largest hotel company.

Nevertheless, the competition remains bullish. Steve Hafner, chief executive officer at flight search website, Kayak, reminded delegates at a conference last month that many accommodation companies have made unsuccessful bids to break into the competitive flight search market.

“I’m not really worried about Airbnb getting into flights,” he said.

Airbnb’s move into airspace should not come as a huge surprise. Last month, the company set out its ambitions to be a bigger player in the travel industry with the launch of Trips, which allows users to book “immersive” travel experiences with locals, including violin making in Paris and marathon running in Kenya.

But the expansion doesn’t stop with tours. Trips also include themed “insider” destination guides, immersive audio walks and interactive GPS maps of nearby restaurants and points of interest.

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