Travel agents

Airbnb ‘could move to buy an online travel agent to help launch Flights’

Posted by Ben Irelandon
Airbnb ‘could move to buy an online travel agent to help launch Flights’

Airbnb could look to buy an online travel agency to help it launch its Flights booking tool.

Bloomberg Technology reports that people close to the Airbnb Flights plans say the company is considering “various routes to break into the business” – which could also involve acquiring licence data from a provider such as Amadeus, Sabre or IT Group SA.

An initial public offering of its Flights booking tool is expected to go live in the next 18 months, the report added.

The move to become a full service travel company has been seen as a bid eat into the market share of OTAs such as Expedia and Priceline Group.

Nick Papas, a spokesman for Airbnb said there were no immediate plans to go public with Flights.

The San Francisco-based firm announced it would be exploring the option of a flight booking tool when it announced its new Trips platform at the Phocuswright conference in Los Angeles last month.

Airbnb’s move towards flights has been shrugged off by some leading flight comparison sites, such as Kayak. Chief executive Steve Hafner  has previously said he is “not really worried” about the move.

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