Technology

Airbnb hires ex-Virgin CEO as head of transportation

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

Rumours of Airbnb’s entry into aviation are starting to look more plausible with the company appointing aviation veteran, Fred Reid, as head of transportation.

The company said in a statement that Reid’s appointment is part of its plan to build an “end-to-end travel platform” combining “where you stay, what you do and how you get there, all in one place.”

“There was a time when getting on a plane was a magical trip of its own, but over the years, how you get to where you’re going has become an experience we endure, not enjoy,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO.

“We believe that needs to change.

“We couldn’t ask for anyone better to take on this monumental task than Fred, and I’m honoured that he’s agreed to work with us.”

Reid, former president of Delta Air Lines and founding CEO of Virgin America, will be tasked with focusing on partnerships and services to enable a more seamless travel experience.

“Whether in the air or on the ground, there are tremendous opportunities to create products and forge partnerships with other companies that make travel easier and even fun,” said Reid.

“Realizing those opportunities will take years and require constant experimentation, and I’m truly honored to have the chance to take on such an audacious challenge with this team.”

According to Chesky, the company is exploring a broad range of ideas and partnerships to make transportation better, but they haven’t yet decided what that will look like.

“I’m not interested in building our own airline or creating just another place on the Internet where you can buy a plane ticket, but there is a tremendous opportunity to improve the transportation experience for everyone,” he said,

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