Czech Kiwi widens travel offer with airport connections

Czech flight search company Kiwi, one of the biggest air-ticket sellers on the European market, is broadening its business model, the daily e15 reported on Friday. From now on, customers can get a package including air ticket as well as journey to and from the airport. At the end of last year, Kiwi launched a pilot service combining journeys with six large European transport companies, including Deutsche Bahn, FlixBus, National Express, RegioJet, SNCF and Trenitalia.
The service will be officially launched in just a few weeks’ time and will involve dozens of new bus and rail operators, including US railway company Amtrak.

“We have invested several hundred millions of crowns in the new concept, mostly in technologies and development,” Kiwi’s joint founder Oliver Dlouhý told the daily.

The new database will be significantly larger than the current one, which includes about 5,000 airports and will offer travel connections to all them.

Cooperation with the new carriers should result in lowering the end price for customers. For instance Brno-based customers will now be able to travel with Kiwi to airports in Prague and Budapest, which offer cheaper flights.

Kiwi, which was established in 2012, is regarded as one of the biggest and most successful recent Czech start-ups and belongs among the top five air-ticket sellers on the European market.

The idea for the company came in 2011 when Dlouhý tried in vain to book a cheap flight. A year later the company was created and it has hardly looked back since.

Despite expanding its services, Kiwi is reported to be heading for a sale this year. Experts estimate the company’s price at more than ten billion crowns. One of the contenders is said to be the US-based world leader in the sale of flights and accommodation, Priceline, known for its rental service,

Last year, Kiwi more than doubled its turnover to nearly 18 billion crowns and is expected to double turnover again this year.