Travel search site Skyscanner has formed a new partnership with China’s main search engine, Baidu.
While Baidu also owns a majority stake in Chinese travel search site Qunar, it has chosen Skyscanner as its partner for international flight searches. When a Baidu user searches for international flights, Skyscanner results will now automatically appear in the search controls. The user can then click through to the chosen airline to make a booking. In China, Skyscanner is known as Tianxun (tianxun.cn).
“We look forward to partnering with Baidu to provide the very best in travel search to their many users. Overall in Asia, we fully expect Skyscanner to grow to the size of our European business within a relatively short period and we are investing with this in mind,” said Gareth Williams, co-founder & CEO of Skyscanner.
The move coincides with the launch of Skyscanner’s first office in China. The company said its new Beijing premises would enable it to become “more closely related to China’s major airline players”. The office opening comes close to a year after Europe’s leading travel search site opened its first Asia Pacific office in Singapore. The company is now moving to a larger office in Singapore, as it aims to double its headcount over the next 12 months.
“The success of our strategy in China comes down to a few things, including our ability to localise website content for the Chinese user, optimising search engine keywords, conducting online marketing campaigns and, not insignificantly, building relationships with China’s leading airlines and online travel agents,” said Ewan Gray, Skyscanner’s Director for Asia Pacific.