Times Online to launch travel search services

The heavyweights of the meta search world are preparing to do battle to provide flight and hotel search facilities on the Times Online.

Travolution understands SideStep is interested in running the facilities on the Travel section of the Times Online and is discussions with the News Corp-owned website.

TravelSupermarket, which currently runs travel search on the travel channels for both the Guardian and the Telegraph would not comment specifically, but added: “We are a major partner of The Times for money, broadband and utilities content and we are always looking to extend our relationships with partners.”

Kayak is also widely rumoured to be bidding for the project but has refused to comment.

US-owned Kayak’s new European director of business development, Annie Wilson, previously worked for the Guardian and was part of the team which oversaw the pitch for its travel search earlier this year, eventually won by TravelSupermarket.

Kayak is currently running travel search facilities for AOL UK, having taken over temporarily from Kelkoo.

The Times Online has also declined to comment. Travel search facilities on the website are restricted to re-publishing online classified listings.

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