TTW – How has been the journey of Skyscanner till now? What is the cause behind the success story of Skyscanner?
Jenny Herbison : Skyscanner’s CEO, Gareth Williams was frustrated with the difficult and tedious process of having to search multiple airlines and travel agent websites to find the best flights. From that frustration, grew a vision for a single website that could collect, collate and compare prices for every commercial flight in the world. And from that, Skyscanner was born. Our success over the past 10 years come from our key differentiators of being unbiased, having our own proprietary technology, and offering the most comprehensive comparison listings, thanks in part to being able to cover all prices and options through our technology and relationships.
TTW – What is the main motto of Skyscanner?
Jenny Herbison: We are a leading global travel search company – the only one to offer a truly comprehensive, free flight, hotel and rental car search service.
TTW – Mobile Apps have played a vital role in eliminating travelling hassles. How have Skyscanner and its app helped?
Jenny Herbison: In a world where people are constantly on the go, Skyscanner and our apps save people time. The Skyscanner app, which has been downloaded more than 25 million times, offers users an easy way to compare travel options and book a trip no matter where they are, on the go. People also look to our app for travel inspiration, as our ‘everywhere’ search is one of most popular destinations through our mobile offerings.
TTW – Where do you see the future of Skyscanner in the years to come?
Jenny Herbison: Like other travel companies, we are excited to see what technology brings for travel. For example mobile technology and its evolution have allowed Skyscanner to reach new markets easier than before. Asia-Pacific is more mobile driven than other global areas, and our success in this region is thanks in part to our mobile offerings.
TTW – Which part of the world sees more users of your app and why?
Jenny Herbison: South Korea leads the way in mobile travel search, with 80% of all flight searches coming from mobile devices. Travelers from Australia, Brazil, Canada and the US are now using mobile devices for over 70% of flight searches, compared with a global average of 53%.
TTW – Why is/what makes mobile a critical channel of air travel research and purchase?
Jenny Herbison: Mobile is one part of the overall research and purchasing behavior of travelers. With mobile, users now have choices of how they want to plan their trips. They may use their mobile devices to find travel inspiration, research their planning, and then move online to book. Mobile also gives the option to reach audiences at different times, in different places and offers an opportunity to target new audiences, or audiences on the go.
TTW – How does the app work? What is the USP of your app over other competitive apps in the travel market?
Jenny Herbison: The Skyscanner Flight App works just like the website, offering users the most comprehensive flight search service. Our apps are available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Blackberry.
With our mobile app, we utilize each platform as a way to enhance the Skyscanner user’s experience. For example, on Android and Windows 8 devices a widget can be pinned to the home screen of the device to keep an eye on price changes on that route, on iOS we feature a globe that allows customers to browse destinations globally and with Blackberry, users can share and chat about a flight search with friends and family via BBM.
TTW – How have these travel apps helped the airlines and how else should the airlines use mobile apps?
Jenny Herbison: The Skyscanner app gives online travel agents and airlines exposure via mobile, offering them another distribution channel.
Airlines take users on a physical journey and these users have their mobile device with them at all times on this journey. Therefore airlines have the chance to interact with travelers at all touch points of their trip, giving them opportunity to enhance their relationship with customers.
TTW – However, when you have a free time which is the best destination that you want to travel or would want to travel back to?
Jenny Herbison: My favorite destination is Rome; Italy lives up to my every expectation every time I visit, and there is something about Rome that keeps me wanting more. And then of course, New York City is just a fantastic place and a destination I always want to go back to.