London;8th February, 2005: Cheapflights Ltd., the profitable pioneer (1996) of UK online travel search and price comparison, announces that its UK and US sites reached a landmark 4 million a month unique users during the month of January 2005.
• Four million monthly unique users on the UK and US sites in January 2005
• 28 million page impressions in UK and US in January 20051
• Unique User growth doubled in the past year in the UK and rose by 150% in the US1
• US site already a top 20 travel agency site by traffic
• 4th largest online referrer to BA.com and to Lastminute.com, 2nd to Ebookers and largest to Airline Network and Online Travel Company in January 2005
• UK sites achieve over 1% of traffic of entire UK online travel website sector3
• Over 900 travel advertisers including 13 new budget and other airlines over past 12 months
• Traffic growth has accelerated rapidly over the past 5 months in the UK1
The Company's landmark January 2005 monthly unique users figure represents a 100% year on year growth in the three UK sites' traffic to 3 million from 1.5 million last year. Although they have always enjoyed significant 50% plus growth, the UK sites have recently successfully accelerated their growth rates. In the past five months, they have increased their total monthly traffic from circa 2 million in August 2004 to the current 3 million1.
In the US, year on year monthly unique users in January 2005 rose by 150% to 1 million2. This ranks it in the top 20 Hitwise US online Travel Agencies sector sites. Launched into the enormous US travel market in May 2003, the US site has sprinted - in less than two years - to reach monthly unique user levels which took Cheapflights.co.uk six years to achieve. This has justified the Company's decision to introduce its successful online travel search and price comparison and pay per click business model to the US. This US success story has rapidly established another profit centre for the Company.
In January 2005, Hitwise UK, the independent website traffic monitor, ranked all three Cheapflights's sites (Cheapflights.co.uk, Cheapholidaydeals.co.uk and Cheapaccommodation.com) in the top 100 of its 7,434 website strong Travel Sector. This Sector comprises all travel related sites and includes airlines, rail sites, map sites, hotels and destination guides. The Cheapflights sites' ranking in the sector represents a share of over 1% of a segment which accounted in January for 4.91% of all UK web usage.
According to Hitwise, Cheapflights.co.uk enjoys the highest book-mark percentage in the top twenty rankings in the Travel Sector.
Regularly over the past year, Hitwise UK has rated Cheapflights.co.uk in the top 10 of the Travel Agencies Sector's 1383 sites. This January, Cheapholidaydeals.co.uk reached 31 in the same sector only 12 months after launch. Cheapaccommodation.com ranked 22 in January in Hitwise UK's 3891 strong Travel-Accommodation & Destinations Sector fourteen months after it was launched.
In January 2005, Cheapflights maintained its position as the pre-eminent travel price comparison site in the UK. According to Hitwise UK data, it was the fourth largest referrer of leads to BA.com and Lastminute.com, the third to Ebookers and the largest to other leading travel companies such as Airline Network and Online Travel Company1. This actually under represents Cheapflights's importance to the sector since Hitwise does not monitor telephone referrals made as a result of leads derived from Cheapflights.
Commenting, David Soskin, Chief Executive of Cheapflights Ltd. said:
"We are delighted with the 150% US traffic growth in 2004, especially as we have only spent US$100,000 on marketing over there, a relatively small marketing spend by online travel standards. According to data from the European Travel Commission, 68 million American unique users used online travel websites in November 2004 . To attract one million of these users to our relatively new US site is no mean achievement and testifies to the fact that our sites provide the travel content, easy access, navigability and speed that users on both sides of the Atlantic want.
We are also very pleased that our UK traffic is also rapidly increasing. We calculate that an estimated half a billion pounds sterling of flights and holiday travel business was referred by Cheapflights to the UK travel sector in 2004."
David Soskin CEO please contact John Barrington-Carver, Cheapflights Ltd.
Corporate PR Tel: 07831 655 630
Notes to Editors:
Founded in 1996 and profitable since launch, Cheapflights.co.uk pioneered the travel price comparison model in the UK
Each day Cheapflights displays over one million fares on flights, holidays, short breaks and accommodation, from over 900 travel partners worldwide. This makes Cheapflights the most comprehensive directory of travel deals available and a natural starting point for travel.
Leading online measurement company Hitwise describes Cheapflights.co.uk as ‘the UK’s favourite travel price comparison site’; and the Company's unique user numbers support this, reaching 4,000,000 unique users in January 2005 (source: Company Logfiles).
The company estimates that it will generate travel product sales of over £800 million for its more than 700 UK partners in 2005. And these advertisers read like a Who’s Who of the travel world - ranging from British Airways, Thomson and Lastminute.com to specialist operators like Barwell Travel , Llama Travel and Iglu.com.
Additionally, Cheapflights is one of the few British Internet companies to successfully establish an operation in the USA with Cheapflights.com. Launched in May 2003, it is already in the top 20 US travel sites (source: Hitwise USA, Travel Agencies Category).
Published on: 12:00AM on 8th February 2005