SkyScanner trials destination-only search function

Meta search engine SkyScanner has launched a beta version of a new-look search that it claims will make it unique on the market.

The flight engine has developed a system enabling users to browse hundreds of flights based only on the departure country.

A search brings back results based either on price or alphabetical order of destinations after which customers can drill down into choice of departure point, destination, price and dates.

“It will help people start their search even if they don’t know where they want to go, have no set dates and are flexible where they depart from,” said SkyScanner co-founder Barry Smith.

“We wanted to get around this issue of having to select destinations or dates even if you just want a flight and have no idea where and when you want to go.

“We’ve always wanted to give users more inspiration and browse capabilities and this is taking it a bit further. There were other flight comparison sites that were starting to move down that route but this moves us further away from anyone else on the market.”

The new version, available to view via click through on the SkyScanner home page, will be launched “in a few weeks.”

“It’s 95% complete,” said Smith. “We are doing some final tweaks and working on some multi-language aspects of the site.”

Meanwhile, the meta search company, which currently searches low cost flights across Europe, is aiming to offer a full European schedule before the summer with worldwide flights coming later in the year.

Smith also hinted that a move to a full service website with hotels, car hire and insurance was among the longer term projects.

“Commercially it would be crazy not to,” he said. “People are doing more and more DIY travel. We particularly want to work with hotels, purely because it’s a given that it you’re not going to a package company, you’re going to need somewhere to stay.

“However, the priority is to develop the flight search. We want to become the number one resource for flights rather than number two for flights and number two for hotels.”

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