Airbnb signals move into transport

By Andy Hoskins, published 8/2/2019

Airbnb is accelerating plans to offer an ‘end-to-end’ travel platform by appointing a Global Head of Transportation.

The sharing economy exponent intends to provide a single platform that combines “where you stay, what you do and how you get there, all in one place”.

It has hired Fred Reid, once CEO of Virgin America, to head up its new transportation division.

Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community, Brian Chesky, says: “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 continues: “We’re going to explore a broad range of ideas and partnerships that can make transportation better.

“We haven’t settled on exactly what those will look like. 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.”

Reid adds: “Airbnb and its incredible global community have revolutionised where you stay and what you can do when you travel. I’m excited to work with them to tackle the third part of the travel experience: how you get there.

“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 honoured to have the chance to take on such an audacious challenge with this team.”

airbnb.co.uk