Earlier this week, AirBNB CEO, Brian Chesky’s ideas for the company to consider looking into starting an airline resurfaced. Chesky, who is also one of the founders and a 36 year old billionaire, compared his ambitions for the company to the likes of Amazon. He hopes it to be a “one stop shop for travel.”
Chesky, expertly utilizing his resources, reached out to his followers on twitter last year to start developing the idea:
Responses varied from basic needs to outlandish ideas to thought provoking and conversation sparking ideas:
Reviews of these proposals have predicted AirBNB to, more realistically, start a flight search engine rather than an airline. Many feel this will pose a threat to existing services like Expedia or Priceline. However, those who pay close attention to Chesky’s obsession with new, cutting edge technology feel he is still in the mind frame to go all in.
Chesky seems to have figured out the first two vectors of his master plan. In his response tweets to his consumer based followers he expresses his interest in Supersonic aircraft (that can fly faster than the speed of sound) and makes reference to vertical take off and landing (VTOL) electric aircrafts. He also give his opinion of experience via his fascination of dirigibles; those elaborate, blimp-like air crafts that have a James Bond or fantasy life feel to them. All of this is great for the billion and even millionaire travels in the world. But that is not the typical profile of the 300 million people using AirBNB in 192 different countries.
It seems Chesky’s ability to reach out on social media and engage in mindful conversations with those who use his business could assist him in developing a highly competitive place in the flight sector of the travel market. His personal ideas, however, may impede his judgement for success. Moreover, didn’t AirBNB become so successful because they managed to rent millions of properties without ever owning anything but a domain name? Would owning an airline really mesh with the makeup of AirBNBs current business model?