Is Airbnb moving into aviation?
Airbnb founder Brian Chesky has the aviation industry’s attention after suggesting that he is considering launching an airline.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Chesky noted that as part of the goal to become a one-stop shop for travel he is looking at how Airbnb could incorporate the flying aspect of the experience too. Fittingly, the household brand’s name would work very well already, should the venture go ahead.
"We've seriously considered a lot of things around aviation and we've spent a lot of time exploring different concepts," he told The Times. "We definitely want to make sure, though, that we can get into the end-to-end trip business."
This isn’t Airbnb’s first hint at tapping into aviation. In 2016, when the company launched its Trips feature – which includes city tours, peer reviews and recommendations, as well as accommodation – executives mentioned that flights and related services could be incorporated later. There have also been rumours that Airbnb is developing a new flight booking tool.
In an interview with PhocusWire, Chesky said that Airbnb is looking into activity around flights, although has no formal announcement yet. He told PhocusWire a number of companies in the airline industry have been in touch about working with Airbnb through a guest membership or loyalty programme.
In 2016, Airbnb partnered with Qantas allowing Qantas Frequent Flyer members to earn points when booking their Airbnb accommodation through the airline's website.
Also in 2016, airline Lufthansa listed a premium economy flight seat on Airbnb billing it as a “cabin in the sky”, and KLM offered a night on a grounded jet at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport through the platform.