Kiwi.com is 10 years old
7 April 2022 – In 10 days time Kiwi.com will be celebrating 10 years since it took its unique place in the travel industry, an innovative start-up that brought the concept of Virtual Interlining (self-connect itineraries) to the world. An innovation that changed the possibilities for booking travel and enabled travelers to select their itinerary based on the best route and the best price available, no matter the airline. All sourced for them by the Kiwi.com algorithm finding millions of flight options in real-time, not dictated by the codeshare agreements of airlines or restricted by whether the best route contains both legacy and low-cost carriers.
In that time over 50 million seats have been sold, 10 million Virtually Interlined itineraries created, 40 million lines of code written and 30 billion kilometers have been traveled by Kiwi.com customers. Over 1.2 million passengers have flown through Kiwi.com’s most visited airport in Barcelona, 90,000 backpackers have traveled to Thailand and one passenger has traveled with 36 bags!
Kiwi.com Founder and CEO, Oliver Dlouhý, comments on the anniversary, “We connected airports and cities that were unconnected before – we allowed customers to save a significant portion of money on their flights and lots of customers to fly that could not take that route before and we continue to offer this and more. We have enabled some 10 million passengers to self connect through our unique itineraries thanks to our innovative technology, itineraries that no one else is able to offer.”
|The idea forms – Oliver Dlouhý and Jozef Képesi meet in Pomalý Bar in Brno, Czech Republic|
|Skypicker is formally registered (original name of the company)|
|The first Virtually Interlined flight is sold: Budapest-Madrid-Lisbon|
|Skypicker acquires meta search engine WhichAirline.com|
|Skypicker rebrands to Kiwi.com|
|Kiwi.com and Amadeus sign the Kiwideus contract creating the largest local flights database in the world|
|Kiwi.com named the fastest-growing technology company in Central Europe by Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Central Europe in the Rising Star category.|
|Ground transport content is implemented into the search function|
|The first overseas office is opened in Barcelona|
|NOMAD is launched – automated shuffling of multi-city trips to find customers the most cost-effective way to hop around the world|
|B2B Platform, TEQUILA, is launched enabling partners to offer Kiwi.com content|
|General Atlantic invests in Kiwi.com|
|2020||COVID-19 grounds all flights and the worst crisis in travel industry history begins that will last for nearly 2 years. Customer experience suffers and focus is put on recovering money for canceled flights from the airlines to pass on to customers.|
|2021||Kiwi.com invests in customer experience processes and services. Travel recovery begins.|
|Travel confidence returns. Kiwi.com hits an all time record of bookings processed and customers served.|
Founder and CEO, Oliver Dlouhy, reflects on how the company has changed since those early years: “Back then there were no rules, it was one big ‘punk’, completely free-spirited. We would have an idea in the morning and it was in production by midnight. And somehow we had a lot of luck, just like the saying goes – the harder you work, the luckier you get! However, when you follow your gut you can also make lots of mistakes and we did make mistakes in the beginning and invested in projects that didn’t work out. I realize how far we have come, as if we had had better preparation, like we have now, it would have saved us from those early mistakes! We have now added the right level of professionalism and predictability which is necessary if you want to build a long-term sustainable business.”
On what the future holds, he adds: “First of all we continue focusing on the customer, the customer experience and providing the value which will lead to a more loyal audience that comes to Kiwi.com through our app and website directly. We have already seen success from our initial focus on a direct-to-consumer model and we will invest in being the top-of-mind brand in various markets as we believe a direct relationship with the customer means we can bring them greater value.”
Kiwi.com is currently seeing the return of travel confidence, in March the company reached an all time record of 58,711 booked seats in a single day and is looking forward to the next 10 years.
– Ends –
Milestones in numbers
Kiwi.com is a leading travel tech company headquartered in the Czech Republic, employing over 1,000 people worldwide. Kiwi.com’s innovative Virtual Interlining algorithm allows users to combine flights across legacy and low-cost airlines into one single itinerary. Kiwi.com performs 2 billion price checks per day across 95% of global flight content enabling customers to find better route options and prices other search engines can’t see. Fifty million searches are carried out every day on Kiwi.com’s website and over 40,000 seats are sold daily.
Global Communications Team