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Industry Flight Search Engine and travel information
Founded 1996
Founder John Hatt
Headquarters London, England
Key people
Hugo Burge, CEO
Owner Momondo Group

Cheapflights is a travel metasearch engine which compares flight prices from thousands of airlines and online travel agents. Established in 1996, Cheapflights was the first flight search and comparison website.[1][2] The company is headquartered in London with an additional office in Boston, and is owned by Copenhagen-based Momondo Group.


Cheapflights was founded in 1996[3] by former travel journalist John Hatt.[4][5][6] Following a management buy-in in early 2000 by entrepreneurs David Soskin and Hugo Burge, Cheapflights introduced the pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising remuneration model.[4][5][6][1]

The company launched its US site in May 2003.[3][6][1][5] In 2005, Cheapflights launched its travel blog.[5] By 2006, Cheapflights made £1 billion in travel sales annually.[7] Cheapflights launched its site in Canada in April 2007.[3][1] In 2008, the UK site was relaunched with new technology.[5][8][9]

In 2011, Cheapflights Media Ltd purchased Copenhagen-based meta-search site Momondo and its parent company Skygate International.[10] In 2012, the company underwent a corporate rebranding, adopting the name Momondo Group, as part of its stated strategy to move into more non-English-speaking markets. The company also announced expansion into Australia, and in April 2013, launched a country-specific Cheapflights site in New Zealand.[11][12][13] Cheapflights began introducing its new meta-search site which replaced the company's previous search technology.[14]

In October 2014, Boston-based private equity fund Great Hill Partners invested £80 million in Cheapflights' parent company, Momondo Group.[15] Cheapflights launched its South African site in February 2015,[16] and expanded its meta-search technology to the UK site in June 2015.[14]

The company recorded 500,000 users across its websites in one day in January 2016.[17] In February 2016, Cheapflights updated its website and app with personalization tools used to save preferences. At that time, the mobile application was being downloaded 200,000 times per month.[18][19]


Cheapflights is a publishing platform for flight prices, which compares up-to-date prices arranged by destination from suppliers including major airlines through tiny travel agents.[20] The company uses pay-per-click and display advertising.[5] Agents advertise on the Cheapflights website and are charged on a pay-per-click basis for users who link through to their websites.[21][22]


  1. ^ a b c d "Cheapflights Shortlisted In Travolution Awards 2008; Best Meta Search/Price Comparison Category". Presswire. April 1, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Cheapflights". The Sunday Times. September 25, 2005. 
  3. ^ a b c Richard Simpson (June 7, 2007). "Cheapflights awards revamp of digital marketing strategy to GT". New Media Age. 
  4. ^ a b Rachel Savage (July 18, 2014). "Cheapflights' owner flies in a £150m sale". Management Today. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Cheapflights to Use 'wizards' to target mailings help net users". Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland (2985). December 8, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c Matthew Wall (September 27, 2007). "Floating away". New Media Age. 
  7. ^ Jane Martinson (October 30, 2006). "Diller plans to buy up British travel websites". The Guardian. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  8. ^ "". Revolution. June 2009. 
  9. ^ Chris Gray (May 23, 2008). "Cheapflights set to expand". Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland (2818). 
  10. ^ Invests in Momondo and parent company Skygate 2011-3-29
  11. ^ Cheapflights Launches New Zealand Website 3-4-2013
  12. ^ Dennis Schaal (May 14, 2014). "CEO Interview: Cheapflights and Momondo Attempt a Dual-Brand Strategy". Skift. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  13. ^ Russell Parsons (April 25, 2014). "Cheapflights ups brand building efforts to support international expansion". Marketing Week. 
  14. ^ a b "Cheapflights switches to meta model in the UK to bring back enjoyment of travel booking". Travolution. June 24, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  15. ^ Ashley Armstrong (October 17, 2014). "Cheapflights owner receives £80m cash boost from Boston-based investor". Telegraph. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Cheapflights launches in SA". Traveller 24. February 24, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Cheapflights sees busiest ever day with over 500,000 hits". Travolution. January 5, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Cheapflights invests for growth". Travel Mole. February 12, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Cheapflights". The Sun. February 1, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  20. ^ Michael Dunlop. "David Soskin Interview – Serial Entrepreneur and Investor". Income Diary. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  21. ^ Samantha Mayling (January 27, 2006). "Cheapflights boasts about its weblog". Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland (2702). 
  22. ^ Bob Tedeschi (August 28, 2005). "Finding Air-Fare Gold in the Internet Maze". The New York Times. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 

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