Kayak.com is expanding with the beta launch of its French site Kayak.fr. The site launches with the industry’s most powerful flight search including the Kayak Buzz tool - it displays the lowest fares to the 25 most popular destinations from any airport or city found by other Kayak users. Hotel and car hire will be available later this year.
Created by co-founders of Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia, Kayak exploded onto the North American market, winning accolade after accolade and emerging as a top 15 travel site in less than two years. Since launching in the UK, Kayak has quickly become one of the most popular travel search sites, winning three Best of the Web awards since its beta launch in December 2006.
In France, the Internet has become a powerful tool, especially when booking travel, with at least 10 million French people organising their trips on the Internet (source: Benchmark Group). Kayak.fr offers French Internet users a personalised search engine with the most powerful flight search facility available. It provides pricing and availability from more than 140 travel sites in seconds so the online traveller no longer needs to spend valuable time visiting multiple sites to compare prices. Kayak.fr promises to quickly establish itself as a favourite travel site amongst French consumers.
“The French market has previously suffered from biased results, service fees tacked on by online travel agencies and the primitive functionalities of current travel search engines,” said Steve Hafner, Kayak co-founder and CEO. “Kayak’s launch in France will simplify the booking process by providing a comprehensive search function and the tools needed to narrow in on the best itinerary and price. Unlike other travel sites, Kayak.fr offers the user a choice of where to book- directly with the supplier or through an online travel agency—then sends users directly to the site to purchase.”
Kayak is free to use and earns its money when travellers click on sponsored links and travel suppliers’ results rather than burdening consumers with annoying banner ads or service fees. This business model is similar to that of Google and Yahoo and means Kayak has a clear, uncluttered interface for users.
Kayak.fr, the travel search engine that finds flights at the best prices
Kayak’s industry-leading flight search, available on the French beta site, provides real-time prices and itineraries from more than 140 travel websites including Air France, British Airways, KLM, Alitalia; low cost carriers such as EasyJet, Ryanair and Vueling; and online travel agencies such as Ebookers and Wegolo. Users can search one way, round trip or multi-city tours. Kayak.fr also offers flexible search, which is the ability to search up to three days before and/or after a preferred travel date for the best fare and itinerary combinations.
To further customize the Kayak experience, users can create their own free Kayak.fr account. By creating a profile, users can select preferences for favourite airlines, access search history and track prices for future travel by receiving price alerts via email.
In order to optimize search tools and flight search speed, Kayak.fr has established a partnership with Amadeus, a global leader in technology and distribution solutions for the travel and tourism industry. As in the UK, Kayak.fr will be using Amadeus’ Meta Pricer solution - a low-fare search engine that searches the content of airline partners. The solution minimizes the search costs for airlines and returns quality results for the Kayak user.
Steve Hafner commented: “Thanks to innovative functionality, Kayak offers Internet users personalized search, positioning itself at the heart of Web 2.0. Kayak recognizes a user and displays results tailored to that person’s travel preferences and search history. Consumers benefit from more relevant search results, providing a more efficient and productive search experience.”