1. News
March 30, 2017

Airbnb’s flight partnership is the startup’s next step in holiday domination

Airbnb is taking its holiday domination plan one step further with a partnership with Australian airline Jetstar.

The deal struck with the low-cost airliner will allow customers to book Airbnb accommodation along with their flights.

Jetstar group chief executive, Jayne Hrdlicka, said:

“This partnership between Jetstar and Airbnb makes it even easier for Australians to book low fare flights and homestay accommodation for their next holiday.”

This isn’t the first Australian airline the San Francisco-based startup has partnered with. Last year, it made a deal with Qantas Airlines to allow the airline’s frequent flyer members the opportunity to earn points when they book Airbnb accommodation through quantas.com.

These measures are making it this easier for those using Airbnb to book a trip away. But, what it also shows is the startup’s next move in taking over the travel industry.

Last year Airbnb launched Trips, experiences that travellers can sign up to so they can really experience the place they are visiting. You can cycle around Miami, explore Havana’s local music scene or learn burlesque dancing in London.

The experiences are hosted by locals, similar to the host role of an Airbnb home owner. You can choose entire weekend trips or simply an hour or two as part of a general visit.

Since Trips was launched in November with 12 cities, it has now expanded to including Harlem, New York, Japan and most recently, Sydney.

At launch, the startup’s chief executive Brian Chesky said Trips was about bringing together “where you stay, what you do, and the people you meet all in one place. We want to make travel magic again by putting people back at the heart of every trip.”

As well as expanding Trips and adding airline partnerships to its arsenal, the company is attempting to break into the Chinese market. The Chinese version is now known as Aibiying, which means “to welcome each other with love”.

There are currently 80,000 listings in China, but that’s not enough for Airbnb. To accommodate the expansion, it has tripled the size of its local workforce and doubled its investment in the Chinese market.

With a $10bn valuation, Airbnb is worth more than some long-standing hotel chains, like Hyatt.  And, the impact to the travel industry doesn’t stop there. According to a report by HVS Consulting and Valuation, it is thought that hotels lose approximately $450m in direct revenues every year to the startup.

Now that it has taken over what people do when they go away and how they get to their destination, the old-school travel industry will start to feel the pinch from Airbnb’s impact much more.

Topics in this article: , , , , ,