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Skyscanner Ltd.
Skyscanner logo.svg
Type of site
Metasearch engine
HeadquartersEdinburgh, Scotland, UK
Key peopleBryan Dove (CEO)
Gareth Williams (Co-Founder and Chairperson)
Revenue£120 million (2015)[1]
Alexa rankPositive decrease 1,235 (Global, April 2017)[2]
Launched2002; 17 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 company was formed in 2004[5] by three information technology professionals, Gareth Williams, Barry Smith, and Bonamy Grimes, after Gareth was frustrated by the difficulties of finding cheap flights to ski resorts.[6] 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.[7] Skyscanner opened an office in Singapore in September 2011, which is headquarters for its Asia-Pacific operations.[8] In 2012, a Beijing office was added, as Skyscanner began a partnership with Baidu, China's largest search engine.[9]

By 2013, the company employed over 180 people.[10] In February 2013, Skyscanner announced plans to open a US base in Miami.[10] In October 2013, Sequoia Capital announced it had purchased an interest in Skyscanner that valued the company at $800 million.[11] In June 2014, Skyscanner acquired Youbibi, a travel search engine company based in Shenzhen, China.[12]

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.[13]

In October 2014, Skyscanner acquired the Budapest-based mobile app developer Distinction.[14] By February 2015, the company employed 600 people, double the employment of 18 months earlier.[15]

In January 2016, Skyscanner announced that it had raised $192 million based on a $1.6 billion valuation for the company.[16] In November 2016, Ctrip, the largest travel firm in China, bought Skyscanner for $1.75 billion.[17] 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.[18]

In 2018, Skyscanner won the best travel app award by Tripzilla online travel magazine.[19]

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. ^
  6. ^ Trapp, Roger (18 February 2006). "How to launch a great business". The Independent. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  7. ^ Butcher, Mike (17 January 2011). "Travel search engine Skyscanner acquires Zoombu". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Skyscanner to set up operation in Singapore". BBC. 26 June 2011.
  9. ^ "Skyscanner lands China search engine deal". BBC. 23 August 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Flight firm Skyscanner moves in to America". BBC. 4 February 2012.
  11. ^ "Skyscanner valued at $800m by backer of Apple". The Evening Standard. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Skyscanner buys Chinese metasearch firm Youbibi". BBC. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  13. ^ "TripAdvisor Tops Travel Brand Awareness Index". LJ Research. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  14. ^ O'Hear, Steve. "Travel Search Company Skyscanner Acquires Budapest-Based Mobile App Developer Distinction". TechCrunch. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  15. ^ Russell, Jon (23 February 2015). "Skyscanner optimistic as revenue growth slows". Financial Times.
  16. ^ "Travel Search Site Skyscanner Raises $192M For International Expansion". TechCrunch. 12 January 2016.
  17. ^ Dickie, Mure (23 November 2016). "China's Ctrip is buying flight search company SkyScanner for $1.74 billion". TechCrunch. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  18. ^ "Tiny startup has been acquired by Chinese travel giant Ctrip – a move that could shake up the travel industry". Business Insider. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  19. ^ "TripZilla Excellence Awards 2018". Retrieved 11 June 2019.

External links[edit]