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Air-bnb the airline, on its way?

Airbnb wants to put the air into Airbnb, with its billionaire founder recently stating that he wanted the tech company to be “a one-stop shop for travel”.


Part of the vision to becoming an all-encompassing travel business, Brian Chesky said in an interview with The Sunday Times, was the very real possibility of Airbnb launching its own airline.



“We’ve seriously considered a lot of things around aviation and we’ve spent a lot of time exploring different concepts,” he told the paper.


“We definitely want to make sure, though, that we can get into the end-to-end trip business.”    


The 36-year-old didn’t divulge any details about Airbnb’s plan, or what it was even “considering”.


But with a presence in 192 countries and a log of some 300 million guests, the move wouldn’t be something entirely beyond the Silicon Valley-based company, which just celebrated its tenth birthday.


The question is, what would Airbnb get out of running its own airline? If there are no obvious gains to be made, it’s more likely the tech giant would look for more tie-ups with carriers, who could help bring it more corporate travel business in particular.


Chesky also sees an "Amazon-sized opportunity" in selling people experiences.


“There’s going to be another economy, and it will be the experience economy,” he told USA Today in another interview.


“You’ll see these modern-day, bite-sized apprenticeships, where you’re exposed to something new.”


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 28 February 2018

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