Cheapflights is expanding its reach and market position further with the launch of a new site in Germany - www.cheapflug.de. The German site is based on Cheapflights’ new common technology platform which successfully powers Cheapflights’ successful websites in the UK and US. This approach will enable Cheapflug.de to introduce new features rapidly beyond the initial “light” site launched earlier this month. Cheapflug.de is Cheapflights’ first non-English language site and will initially be managed from London which is the Company’s technical hub for European operations.
Cheapflights selected Germany as its first continental European launch due to Germany’s leading position in outbound tourism from Europe, its strong business economy, plus the positive encouragement from leading German flight providers. The Cheapflug.de site carries flight deals departing from Germany and from airports in Austria as well as those airports close to Germany’s borders with neighbouring countries.
Germany is clearly a natural market for Cheapflights to expand into:
o Its five main airports carried 131 million passengers in 2007 (Source: Airports International Council).
o In outbound tourism it was number one in Europe in 2007 with 75.9 millions trips (Source: European Travel Commission Report 2007-2008 : p. 28).
o Germany also enjoys both high internet penetration - more than 50 million users, nearly 64% of the population (Source: www.internetworldstats.com - June,2008 ) and a proliferation of broadband access - some 24% per cent of the population at the end of 2007.
o Online, Germany remained the second largest travel market in Europe in 2007, accounting for 19% of the total European online travel market, according to the updated January 2008 study “Trends in European Internet Distribution - of Travel and Tourism Services” by Carl H. Marcussen Centre for Regional and Tourism Research.
Whilst the online flights market in Germany is highly developed, Cheapflights’ flights search and comparison model is a recent arrival on the German internet. Cheapflights believes its unique model of a neutral travel site displaying deals from a broad selection of flight deal providers will provide clear benefits to both users and the travel industry. Cheapflights is not a meta-search site but rather has contractual agreements with all its industry advertisers, from major flight providers down to the “long-tail” of specialist agencies, many of whom have no web presence of their own.
The Cheapflights flights price search and comparison model and its opt-in subscriber newsletters have already proved a success with both consumers and with travel operators on both sides of the Atlantic. Cheapflights websites hosted circa six million unique users per month last year which drove an estimated US$4 billion flights sales to Cheapflights’ advertising “partners” globally.
Cheapflights Head of International Mo Bulbrook said today: “The Germans and Brits are surprisingly alike: They love beaches and cheap flight deals! Despite the undoubted charms of both countries, the indifferent weather in both means everyone legs it abroad each year. Furthermore, Germans travel abroad more often than any other European nationality closely followed by Brits! Cheapflug.de will help our users in Germany find not only great deals but will also provide a terrific resource for researching travel information and finding inspirational holiday destinations.”
Cheapflights’ CEO, Chris Cuddy commented: “Germany is a significant step forward in Cheapflights’ international expansion and is part of Cheapflights’ wider strategy to go global within the next five years. Our newly redesigned technology platform enables Cheapflights to embark on this launch with minimal additional investment. We are most encouraged to see the extremely positive initial response from German users and our existing travel partners who embrace our international ambitions to develop multi-national business relationships.”