Skyscanner’s shunt into rail a product of Ctrip investment

Skyscanner’s shunt into rail a product of Ctrip investment

Airfare, hotel and car hire metasearch site Skyscanner has launched a train booking feature for mobile.

UK users of its iOS app, which has been downloaded 70 million times, can search for rail tickets for UK journeys without booking fees.

Railcards can be used through the booking platform, which gives the option of advanced, anytime, off-peak, standard and return tickets.

It is expected to be launched on Android “shortly”, as Skyscanner says mobile now accounts for 60% of its traffic.

The data behind the rail feature is powered by Trip.com, Skyscanner parent Ctrip’s new international travel booking service. Bookings will be facilitated by Trip.com, which will also provide 24-hour customer service.

Bryan Dove, chief technology officer at Skyscanner, said: “Being part of the Ctrip group allows us to take advantage of elements of Ctrip’s technology and experience and bring that value to Skyscanner’s travellers. The launch of our train booking product is one such example. Our focus has always been on making travel as easy as possible and our new train feature will do just that, with the benefit of no booking fees.”

The news follows Skyscanner announcing it will use content from Trip.com.

Ctrip invested in Skyscanner in December 2016 in a deal worth £1.4bn. While Skyscanner remains operationally independent, the sale has allowed the business to leverage Ctrip technology.

Skyscanner’s launch into rail comes just months after it announced the acquisition of London start-up Twizoo and the use of in-trip content through Ctrip’s acquisition of Trip.com.

Skyscanner said both will help make the site a place where travellers can find everything they need for travel planning in one single place.

 

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