According to Bloomberg, Airbnb is expanding its scope beyond merely vacation lodging and home rental. The US based startup is now going to offer flight booking service and is looking to carve out a niche in the domain within the next 18 months.
According to sources, this new project is known as Flights and may either involve Airbnb building its own proprietary tool, acquiring an online travel agency, or licensing data from a third-party.
Earlier in the month of November, the startup had launched a new feature called Trips — host-guided activities which users can discover and book through Airbnb’s newly redesigned app. The app also added another section called Places that offers recommendations to the users.
Speaking at the Airbnb Open Conference in Los Angeles, CEO Brian Chesky said,
Until now, Airbnb has been about homes. Today, Airbnb is launching Trips, bringing together where you stay, what you do, and the people you meet all in one place. We want to make travel magical again by putting people back at the heart of every trip.
He also added that,
We think travel can be magical and easy. The magic is in the people, it’s all about immersing in local communities.
When the company launched Trips, it hinted at the launch of Flight as well.
The press release that announced Trip stated that the company was shifting focus to making the entire trip easy and magical and also divulged that Flights and Services would be added in the future. This new service, assuming it picks up, will certainly add up to the startup’s source of revenue and will help the company get bigger. It will also bring the company into conflict with a whole bunch of competitors.
The company which was last valued at a mammoth $30 billion, is looking to raise $153 million more in venture capital funding. The company closed a round of $555 million in September.