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Skyscanner Ltd.
Skyscanner logo.svg
Type of site
Metasearch engine
Headquarters Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Owner Ctrip
Key people Bryan Dove (CEO)
Revenue £120 million (2015)[1]
Alexa rank Positive decrease 1,235 (Global, April 2017)[2]
Registration No
Launched 2002; 16 years ago (2002)

Skyscanner is a travel fare aggregator website and travel metasearch engine based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Since November 2016 the website has been owned by Ctrip, the largest travel company in China. The site is available in over 30 languages and is used by 60 million people per month.[3][4] The news section of the website includes regular news from the travel and flight industry and travel tips for customers. The website is the winner of many awards.[5]


The company was formed in 2004[6] by three information technology professionals, Gareth Williams, Barry Smith and Bonamy Grimes, after one of them was frustrated by the difficulties of finding cheap flights to ski resorts.[7] Skyscanner was first developed and released in 2002. In 2003, the first employee was hired to assist with site development. The Edinburgh office was opened in 2004.

In 2011, Skyscanner acquired the door-to-door travel site Zoombu for an undisclosed amount.[8] Skyscanner opened an office in Singapore in September 2011, which is headquarters for its Asia-Pacific operations.[9] In 2012, a Beijing office was added, as Skyscanner began a partnership with Baidu, China's largest search engine.[10]

By 2013, the company employed over 180 people.[11] In February 2013, Skyscanner announced plans to open a US base in Miami.[11] In October 2013, Sequoia Capital announced it had purchased an interest in Skyscanner that valued the company at $800 million.[12] In June 2014, Skyscanner acquired Youbibi, a travel search engine company based in Shenzhen, China.[13]

In August 2014, a market research study found that, in comparison to other travel websites, Skyscanner tended to have more users aged 16–34. The same study found that 64% of those who have used Skyscanner trust the platform.[14]

In October 2014, Skyscanner acquired the Budapest-based mobile app developer Distinction.[15] By February 2015, the company employed 600 people, double the employment of 18 months earlier.[16]

In January 2016, Skyscanner announced that it had raised $192 million based on a $1.6 billion valuation for the company.[17] In November 2016, Ctrip, the largest travel firm in China, bought Skyscanner for $1.75 billion.[18] In 2017, Ctrip bought the domain and launched its new service The original platform was rebranded as Trip by Skyscanner and has become a subsidiary of Skyscanner.[19]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Skyscanner has won various awards including a Queen's Award for Enterprise, Travolution Brand of the Year 2011 and Best Flight Comparison 2010 from Travolution.[5]

The site has been well received by the UK media; in an "Online Cheap Flight Finding Experiment" run by The Guardian newspaper, Skyscanner was praised for finding the lowest flight fares and for "beating much bigger operators such as Expedia and Travelocity".[20] The site was also listed in The Independent newspaper's articles – "The Ten Best: Travel Sites".[21] and "101 Really Useful Websites", published in 2007.[22] The Daily Telegraph named Skyscanner as one of the nine best travel websites in 2009.[23]

Media usage[edit]

Skyscanner was mentioned in the track 'Detox' by UK grime artist and 2016 Mercury Prize winner Skepta: "Now I'm like an airhostess, how I jump on the flight / Skyscanner, I book it on-site".[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shead, Sam (19 February 2016). "Skyscanner's revenues grew to £120 million last year off the back of a hungry Chinese market and a surge in mobile users". Business Insider. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ About Skyscanner
  4. ^ O'Hear, Steve (18 September 2012). "Skyscanner's Mobile Apps Hit 10M Downloads, Letting Users Find Cheap Flights On The Go". TechCrunch. 
  5. ^ a b Skyscanner Awards
  6. ^
  7. ^ Trapp, Roger (18 February 2006). "How to launch a great business". The Independent. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  8. ^ Butcher, Mike (17 January 2011). "Travel search engine Skyscanner acquires Zoombu". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Skyscanner to set up operation in Singapore". BBC. 26 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Skyscanner lands China search engine deal". BBC. 23 August 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Flight firm Skyscanner moves in to America". BBC. 4 February 2012. 
  12. ^ "Skyscanner valued at $800m by backer of Apple". The Evening Standard. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  13. ^ "Skyscanner buys Chinese metasearch firm Youbibi". BBC. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  14. ^ "TripAdvisor Tops Travel Brand Awareness Index". LJ Research. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  15. ^ O'Hear, Steve. "Travel Search Company Skyscanner Acquires Budapest-Based Mobile App Developer Distinction". TechCrunch. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  16. ^ Russell, Jon (23 February 2015). "Skyscanner optimistic as revenue growth slows". Financial Times. 
  17. ^ "Travel Search Site Skyscanner Raises $192M For International Expansion". TechCrunch. 12 January 2016. 
  18. ^ Dickie, Mure (23 November 2016). "China's Ctrip is buying flight search company SkyScanner for $1.74 billion". TechCrunch. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  19. ^ "Tiny startup has been acquired by Chinese travel giant Ctrip – a move that could shake up the travel industry". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-06-26. 
  20. ^ Brignall, Miles; Patrick Collinson (17 September 2005). "Go online to get a flying start". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  21. ^ "The Ten Best: Travel websites". The Independent. 13 January 2005. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  22. ^ Rebecca Armstrong, Rhodri Marsden, Abigail Outhwaite and Jimmy Lee Shreeve (11 June 2007). "101 Really Useful Websites". The Independent. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  23. ^ "Best websites: Travel". The Daily Telegraph. 12 November 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  24. ^ "Detox by Skepta". Spotify. September 2016. 

External links[edit]