Over five million properties in more than 80,000 cities around the world, millions of hosts and guests, $ 31 billion in revenue. In just ten years, Airbnb has risen exponentially and has become one of the most influential and important brands in tourism. The company is not planning to top here. The goal is to move forward and to create an end-to-end travel platform by integrating new businesses, starting from transport.
For now, there are no specific information about the way Airbnb development is to continue. It has been discussed whether the company will buy an airline or start from scratch. However, the first step of the strategic plan has been taken. The company hired a highly experienced persona as their “Global Head of Transportation”. This person is Fred Reid, who can boast three decades of experience in the industry.
Among others, Reid was the chief executive officer of Lufthansa, chief operating officer of Delta Airlines, and from 2004 to 2007 the CEO of Virgin America.
Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky was cited on the company’s official website: “I’m not interested in building our own airline or creating just another place on the Internet where you can buy a plane ticket, but there is a tremendous opportunity to improve the transportation experience for everyone.”
“Whether in the air or on the ground, there are tremendous opportunities to create products and forge partnerships with other companies that make travel easier and even fun. Realizing those opportunities will take years and require constant experimentation, and I’m truly honored to have the chance to take on such an audacious challenge with this team,” Reid added.
The scale of possibilities for Airbnb developemtn is very big. It ranges from having its own branded booking engine to certain travel packages or public aviation charters like JetSuiteX. What is certain, however, is that the goal will be to improve the experience.
“There was a time when getting on a plane was a magical trip of its own, but over the years, how you get to where you’re going has become an experience we endure, not enjoy. We believe that needs to change,” Chesky said.
In their press release, Airbnb stressed that the company is not content with just offering accommodation but plans to build an “end-to-end travel platform that combines where you stay, what you do, and how you get there, all in one place”.
The integration of transportation is just a part of Chesky’s bigger scheme. Previously, Airbnb have introduced features such as tours or other activities. In terms of gastronomy, two years ago Airbnb partnered with restaurant reservation platform Resy to guarantee customers the best experience possible in terms of dining.
For now, in terms of transportation there are still a lot of ifs and buts and uncertainties. However, what can be said for sure is that Airbnb is attempting to rebrand itself and expand the services offered to achieve the goal of becoming an end-to-end travel platform.