Booking.com has launched a flight product for its customers across seven European countries not including the United Kingdom.
The company describes the pilot, which is in partnership with Etraveli, as a "Booking.com-branded product" that extends its “ongoing commitment to create a seamless experience across the entire travel journey.”
Etraveli and Booking.com have been partnering for some months but with users redirected other Etraveli sites to search and book for flights, but this latest pilot is believed to be a more integrated service.
As a pilot, the development can not yet be seen by all traffic, however, PhocusWire has seen screenshots of the Booking.com-branded development, which is likely to be ramped up over time.
Booking.com has had a flight tab, which linked to sister brand Kayak, on the site for several years.
A Booking.com spokesperson says: “We’re excited to continue building out this new product on our platform, to welcome new partners in the flight industry to connect their inventory and to innovate rapidly to remove even more friction from this crucial component of the broader trip experience.”
Etraveli Group CEO Mathias Hedlund says: "We are very excited about the cooperation with Booking.com. We work hard everyday to be the world's most attractive flight centric search, book and fulfillment company, providing our customers and partners with the widest array of relevant air content.
"The flights industry is getting increasingly complex and we see an increasing demand from partners that want to get access to the air content, pricing capabilities and tech solutions we can provide."
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Booking Holdings president and CEO Glenn Fogel has talked often about the “connected trip” in presentations and earnings calls of late.
And, most recently, chief financial officer David Goulden touched on the topic during the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference saying that it isn’t about just putting separate things in a basket.
He said: “We’re talking about something that is personalized, AI enhanced, that is truly connected; it’s very different from buying a few things across a tab on a website, this level of interconnectivity and intelligence between these elements of a connected trip.”
The deeper partnership with Etraveli will be seen as a further step in this “connected trip” strategy with elements, including ride-hailing services such as Grab, to be added.
See our interview from the Aviation Festival with Booking.com transport division director of strategy David Adamczyk for more details on how it might all come together.
PhocusWire @ WAF 2019 - Booking.com on weaving every element of a trip together