Sunday, July 19, 2015

Skyscanner, Yahoo! Japan establish joint venture

This is a little bit outside what I usually post but given my background in airline reservation software I think its significant.  I learned about from Debbie, a friend I met in Morocco.   Skyscanner is a pretty amazing little search engine for airline flights, its most amazing feature is the ability to put "anywhere" into the FROM or TO fields of the search, which pops up an amazing set of normally unseen flights sometimes at ridiculously low prices.   Most travel agency type systems are slightly rigged by markets, usually priced differently from the perspective of each viewing country and city.  It was reported in the past some flight booking systems even charge you more if you have a Mac vs a PC, figuring you have more money if you have a Mac. Web browsers do return data on what kind of computer you have to the web server.   

I have long wondered why Google never got into the flight search and reservation business given its data mining capabilities.  Airlines systems were some of the very first online computer systems, and they are very very fast, but the coding is old and brittle and difficult to change because of the archaic data structures and the fact that most of the legacy code is written in IBM 370 assembly language. 

Now Yahoo Japan is teaming up with Skyscanner, which I think is a smart move by them... probably the first smart move I have seen Yahoo make in years.   -AK

Skyscanner, Yahoo! Japan establish joint venture

TRAVEL JUL. 19, 2015 - 05:59AM JST ( 0 )EDINBURGH, Scotland —

Skyscanner and Yahoo! Japan have announced a joint venture set to broaden travellers’ access to and ability to compare millions of flight options, for travel both in Japan and internationally. Skyscanner Japan brings together Skyscanner’s leading flight search capabilities with Yahoo! Japan’s position as one of the largest digital media sites and search engines in Japan, serving on average more than 60 billion page views a month.

Japan is the third largest travel market in the world, with 2015 bookings estimated to rise to $71 billion. The establishment of Skyscanner Japan provides both partners in the joint venture an opportunity to accelerate their growth in this important market and offers millions of consumers comprehensive travel options for free.

Under the terms of the joint venture, Skyscanner will share its API with Yahoo! JAPAN and power its flight search results. Skyscanner will benefit from Yahoo! Japan’s large and loyal audience, and its wealth of experience in the Japanese market. Last year, visitors to Skyscanner in Japan grew by 40%, and this relationship is expected to accelerate further growth.

Gareth Williams, co-founder and CEO of Skyscanner said: “Skyscanner Japan is a start-up backed by a leading global travel search engine and the biggest search engine in the world’s third biggest travel market. This is great news for travel in Japan and worldwide. Skyscanner offers the most comprehensive range of travel options to travellers globally, and we strongly believe in making our sites as locally relevant as possible. Our joint venture with Yahoo! JAPAN can only broaden and deepen the benefits we can bring to the consumers we serve.”

Gen Miyazawa, head of Media Company at Yahoo! Japan Corporation said: “This joint venture gives us a thrilling opportunity to launch a travel service in Japan, together with Skyscanner, a leading global travel search company. Yahoo! Japan, as a problem-solving engine, will enhance the travel search experience for Japanese consumers through its search service, powered by Skyscanner. What’s more, we hope to meet the demand of an increasing number of inbound travellers to Japan, and improve their satisfaction, through the widely recognised Skyscanner service.”

Skyscanner Japan will run autonomously, supported in a technical and advisory capacity by senior representatives from both Skyscanner and Yahoo! Japan at board level. This support will initially be bolstered by expert secondees from both companies who will work for Skyscanner Japan.

Business Wire

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