Skyscanner and the flight industry

Whether you are researching a weekend break or a three-month holiday, booking has never been easier. Travel agents still hold a considerable stake of the industry, but this has decreased in the past two decades as flight aggregator’s gain a stranglehold in the market.

Comparison websites, are common in nearly every industry now. From booking accommodation to choosing the right insurance plan. With a quick search of the internet, you can have all the options you need, based on factors of your choosing.

In the flight industry, there are numerous competitors in the market. Skyscanner are one of these. Founded in 2003 by a Scotsman, Gareth Williams, Skyscanner was born out of Williams’ frustration in comparing flights. With its HQ in Edinburgh, Skyscanner has gradually grown since its inception and was eventually bought out by the largest Chinese company of its kind, Ctrip for £1.4 billion.

Now with over 60 million users each month, the company offers its services in over 30 languages. It also has bases in 10 cities around the world, including Singapore and Miami. With reported revenue of over £700 million, Skyscanner employs over 700 people worldwide and now offers price comparison on hotel and car rental prices from over 1,200 sources.

So, what has got Skyscanner to this position in the market? They were among the first movers in a new industry aided by the development of cheaper and faster internet which was taking over the world. Instead of making a call to travel agents, travellers needed a way to search in which they were in more control of and Skyscanner took advantage.

Skyscanner was one of the first to list the flights of low-cost carriers too. As Ryanair took over the air travel market in Europe, Skyscanner were able to piggy back on their success, as well as that of Easyjet, the low-cost carrier from England, and Air Asia, a Malaysian airline.

Setting itself apart from competitors such as Momondo, Skyscanner allows the user to enter the search term, “anywhere”, into the destination search bar and choose a place to fly based on price. Compiling more data than other sites, Skyscanner also allows users to study graphs detailing the movement of prices and when is the best time to book.

Now with a foothold in the Chinese market, Skyscanner is going to grow and grow as it aims to take complete control of the flight aggregator market.