Skyscanner poised for bid to crack the US

Flight comparison website Skyscanner is to open its first US office on the back of 65% jump in 2012 revenues to £33.5 million.

Co-founder and CEO Gareth Williams said the Edinburgh-based company planned to employ about 10 people in Miami by the end of the year.

Skyscanner already has an 18-person office in Singapore, three employees in Beijing and 175 in Scotland.

Williams said: “Miami will be a base for all of the Americas. Brazil and Argentina will be as important as the US and Canadian markets.”

Traffic to the website grew 84% last year, with more than 30 million visits a month, resulting in bookings for airline partners of more than £2.3 billion.

Company earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation soared 153% to £12 million.

The fast-expanding Asian travel market was expected to continue to drive growth in online flight bookings, Williams said.

“There are no signs of levelling off in growth rates – if anything, they are getting stronger,” he told the Financial Times.

The Miami move will bring Skyscanner into closer competition with larger US-based rival Kayak.

Kayak said in November it had reached agreement to be acquired by Priceline. Kayak’s revenues in the third quarter of 2012 reached $79 million, up 29% year-on-year.


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