Airbnb Is Building a Flight-Booking Tool

Airbnb Is Building a Flight-Booking Tool

Foto: Fotolia

Airbnb is developing a service for booking air travel as the home-rental startup looks to compete with Priceline and Expedia for more of people's online travel spending, according to Bloomberg. Development of the flight-booking feature is early, and the company is considering various routes to break into the business, said people familiar with the plans. Airbnb may acquire an online travel agency or license data from a provider, such as Amadeus or Sabre, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unfinished products.

Within the company, the project is simply known as Flights, the people said. Airbnb aims to get Flights off the ground before it pursues an initial public offering, which is likely in the next 18 months, the people said. Nick Papas, a spokesman for Airbnb, declined to comment on the flight-booking plans and said the company doesn't plan to go public in the near future.

Moving into flights would be a shot across the bows of Priceline and Expedia, which operate the largest sites for flight searches and bookings. Margins in online travel are typically higher in hotels and property rentals, but flights help draw people to the sites. Alphabet pushed into the space in 2010, when it acquired airline data provider ITA Software for $700 million to bolster its own flight-search tools.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky gave a presentation last month in Los Angeles, where he showed off new designs for the company's website and apps. One image contained a small airplane graphic in a section called Trip Itinerary. This is where Airbnb intends to provide suggestions for the best airfare options based on price, travel time and expected weather conditions, said the people familiar with the plans.

More from category

Big Data Experiment Tests Central Banking Assumptions in Norway

Big Data Experiment Tests Central Banking Assumptions in Norway

22 Jan 2017 comment

Central bankers may do well to pay less attention to the bond market and their own forecasts than they do to newspaper articles, according to Bloomberg. That’s the finding of a new algorithm-based index being tested at Norway’s central bank in Oslo. Researchers fed 26 years of news (or 459,745 news articles) from local business daily Dagens Naringsliv into a macroeconomic model to create a “newsy coincident index of business cycles” to help it gauge the state of the economy.

COMBIS launched a web portal with the biggest Cloud offer in Croatia

COMBIS launched a web portal with the biggest Cloud offer in Croatia

19 Jan 2017 comment

Leading IT service provider in Croatia COMBIS launched cloud.combis.hr, web portal that includes the widest Cloud offer in Croatia intended for business customers. Portal's goal is to educate readers about numerous possibilities of Cloud in modern business, having in mind the fact that every company has its own specific business and Cloud needs.

Android Creator Nears Comeback With

Android Creator Nears Comeback With "Essential" Phone

17 Jan 2017 comment

Just over two years after leaving Google, creator of the Android operating system Andy Rubin is preparing to take on the smartphone industry he helped create, according to BLoomberg. Rubin is planning to marry his background in software with artificial intelligence in a risky business: consumer hardware.