There are a number of airline aggregators available online, and in general they provide a very useful service for travellers.
However one new startup hopes to wrestle control of the market from the established players by focusing on usability.
To find out more about AirlineHunter.co.uk, I spoke to marketing director Petra Vaskovych…
In one sentence, what is AirlineHunter?
AirlineHunter.co.uk is an innovative flight search engine that enables users to visualise flight duration and stopovers, and find the flights that best suit their time and budget.
What problems does AirlineHunter solve?
When using AirlineHunter.co.uk travellers can search for the best flights very easily and do not have to bother with plenty of useless flights and almost identical alternatives.
Instead of showing a chaotic list of results, the website puts the flights into neatly arranged graphs with visual hints for flight duration and all stopovers.
Our search assesses both price and duration of flights and shows a list of high quality results sorted by price to duration ratio. Long flights with stopovers are penalised for the extra time and appear on top only if the price is significantly lower than for a direct flight.
By default AirlineHunter.co.uk hides all flights that are either too expensive or too long. The site is currently available in more than 30 country versions.
When and why did you launch it?
New AirlineHunter.co.uk was launched in November 2012. The idea of rethinking the flight search interface from scratch came about when we discovered that the experience of searching for flights with regular flight search engines is still been very poor.
With other sites it is difficult to sort the flights and remove the flights that nobody would choose. Moreover, the whole process of finding the best flights took ages and became a pain in the neck.
For us this was the turning point – we decided to develop completely new flight search engine that would take all the hassle out of finding the best flights thanks to its visual interface.
How are you funding the company?
We have been bootstrapping and funding the website from earnings from our other online projects.
We do not have any external funding at the moment, but we may look for investors later this year to accelerate our growth.
Who is your target audience?
Airlinehunter.com mainly targets independent travellers who buy their own airline tickets or book travel-related services.
What are your immediate goals?
We want AirlineHunter.co.uk to become an international flight search engine that makes flight search a pleasure and not a chore. We are currently working on new features that should make the search easier and quicker.
What were the biggest challenges involved in building AirlineHunter?
The major challenge was getting the data. We do not want to rely on traditional global distribution systems as they are very inflexible and they don’t include many low cost airlines.
We had to combine various sources to get the information we needed. The situation is getting better now, but some airlines are still very difficult to deal with even though we are bringing them new customers.
How will the company make money?
AirlineHunter.co.uk will make money on commissions from airline tickets and also other travel-related services such as accommodation, car rental, airport parking, etc.
Who is in the team and what does it look like?
There are seven people working on AirlineHunter at the moment. Most of our team have been working with travel-related websites for several years.
We all love traveling and we often look for airfare deals, which helps us get new ideas on how to improve our search engine.
I have experience with online and affiliate marketing and I take care of business aspects. Our CEO Lukas Nevosad has both a business and technical background and he oversees development of the website.
Where would you like to be in one, three and five year’s time?
In one year, we plan to add several new features that will make searching for airfare deals easier. We will launch mobile apps for both iOS and Android and we want to have the most user-friendly interface among flight search engines.
In three years’ time we would like to be the best flight engine in Europe. We do not plan for more than three years; this industry changes too rapidly to predict how it will look like in five years.