If you’re wondering whether the popular flight search engine Skyscanner is owned by the online travel giant Expedia, you’re not alone. With both companies being major players in the online travel industry, their relationship is often a source of confusion.

The quick answer is: No, Skyscanner is not owned by Expedia. However, Expedia did acquire a majority stake in Skyscanner in 2016 for $1.6 billion. So while Skyscanner operates independently, Expedia is a major investor and the two companies have a close partnership.

The History of Skyscanner and Expedia

Skyscanner, a popular travel search engine, was founded in 2003 by three university friends in Scotland. The website quickly gained popularity for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive search results.

Skyscanner allows users to compare prices for flights, hotels, and car rentals from various travel agencies and airlines, making it a go-to platform for travelers around the world. Over the years, Skyscanner expanded its services and became a trusted name in the travel industry.

When Skyscanner was founded and its growth

Skyscanner was founded in 2003 by Gareth Williams, Bonamy Grimes, and Barry Smith. Initially, the website focused solely on flight searches, but it later expanded to include hotel and car rental options.

Skyscanner’s innovative approach to travel search, combined with its commitment to providing accurate and up-to-date information, quickly propelled the platform to success. Today, Skyscanner is available in over 30 languages and serves millions of users worldwide.

Key developments for Expedia over the years

Expedia, one of the biggest players in the online travel industry, has a long history of growth and acquisitions. Founded in 1996 as a division of Microsoft, Expedia became an independent company in 1999.

Since then, it has expanded its services to include not only flights, hotels, and car rentals but also vacation packages, cruises, and activities. Expedia’s user-friendly interface and extensive inventory have made it a popular choice among travelers.

Over the years, Expedia has made several key acquisitions to strengthen its position in the market. In 2015, it acquired Orbitz Worldwide, a leading online travel agency. This acquisition allowed Expedia to expand its customer base and increase its global presence.

Expedia has also acquired other popular travel brands, such as Travelocity and HomeAway, further solidifying its position as a dominant player in the industry.

Expedia’s acquisition of Skyscanner in 2016

In 2016, Expedia announced its acquisition of Skyscanner for approximately $1.7 billion. This strategic move allowed Expedia to tap into Skyscanner’s vast user base and innovative technology. By integrating Skyscanner’s services into its platform, Expedia aimed to enhance its offering and provide users with an even more comprehensive travel search experience.

The acquisition of Skyscanner by Expedia was seen as a significant milestone in the travel industry. It demonstrated Expedia’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements and providing travelers with the best possible options.

Today, Skyscanner continues to operate as a separate entity under the Expedia Group umbrella, leveraging its unique features and expertise to benefit travelers worldwide.

The Details of Expedia’s Acquisition of Skyscanner

Expedia, one of the leading online travel agencies, acquired a majority stake of over 70% in Skyscanner in November 2016. This acquisition marked a significant move for both companies in the highly competitive online travel industry.

Skyscanner, a popular flight search engine, had already established itself as a trusted platform for travelers to find the best flight deals.

Expedia acquired a majority stake (over 70%)

With the acquisition, Expedia gained a controlling interest in Skyscanner, allowing them to tap into the vast user base and technology of the flight search engine. This move was seen as a strategic decision by Expedia to expand its global presence and strengthen its position in the online travel market.

By acquiring a majority stake in Skyscanner, Expedia aimed to leverage the flight search engine’s advanced technology and data-driven approach to enhance its own offerings. This would enable Expedia to provide a more comprehensive and personalized travel experience to its customers.

Skyscanner still operates as an independent business

Despite the acquisition, Skyscanner continues to operate as an independent business within the Expedia Group. This means that Skyscanner maintains its own brand, website, and mobile app, ensuring that users can still access its services without any major changes.

The independence of Skyscanner allows it to continue innovating and providing travelers with a reliable platform to compare flight prices, explore travel options, and make bookings. With the backing of Expedia’s resources and expertise, Skyscanner can further expand its reach and improve its services for users around the world.

The rationale behind the acquisition from both companies’ perspectives

From Expedia’s perspective, the acquisition of Skyscanner was driven by the desire to strengthen its position in the highly competitive online travel industry. By acquiring a majority stake in Skyscanner, Expedia gained access to a global user base and advanced technology, allowing it to offer a more comprehensive travel experience to its customers.

On the other hand, Skyscanner saw the acquisition as an opportunity to accelerate its growth and expand its reach. By joining forces with Expedia, Skyscanner gained access to additional resources and expertise, enabling it to enhance its services and provide even more value to its users.

The Nature of Skyscanner and Expedia’s Relationship

Skyscanner and Expedia have a complex relationship that involves collaboration on certain products and services, data sharing and integration of certain systems, joint marketing and promotional campaigns, while still allowing Skyscanner to maintain independence in key business areas.

Collaboration on certain products and services

Skyscanner and Expedia have collaborated on various occasions to offer customers a wider range of options when it comes to booking flights, hotels, and rental cars. This collaboration allows users of both platforms to access a larger inventory of travel options, ensuring that they find the best deals and prices available.

Data sharing and integration of certain systems

Skyscanner and Expedia have integrated certain systems to streamline the booking process and improve the user experience. Through this integration, Skyscanner can access real-time availability and pricing information from Expedia’s vast network of travel suppliers.

This ensures that users of Skyscanner are provided with accurate and up-to-date information when searching for travel options.

Joint marketing and promotional campaigns

Skyscanner and Expedia have also partnered on joint marketing and promotional campaigns to increase brand awareness and attract more customers. These campaigns may include special offers, discounts, or incentives for users to book through either Skyscanner or Expedia.

By leveraging each other’s resources and customer base, both companies can reach a larger audience and drive more bookings.

Skyscanner maintains independence in key business areas

Despite the collaboration and integration with Expedia, Skyscanner still maintains independence in key business areas. This means that Skyscanner has control over its own technology, product development, and decision-making processes.

Skyscanner’s independence allows them to continue innovating and providing unique features and services to its users.

How the Partnership Benefits Both Companies

The partnership between Skyscanner and Expedia brings numerous benefits to both companies. Let’s explore how this collaboration helps them thrive in the competitive travel industry.

Expanded reach and traffic for Expedia

By acquiring Skyscanner, Expedia significantly expands its reach and customer base. Skyscanner’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive search engine attract millions of travelers worldwide. This means that Expedia can tap into a larger audience and increase its website traffic.

As a result, Expedia can generate more bookings and revenue, solidifying its position as a leading online travel agency.

Technology and infrastructure support for Skyscanner

Skyscanner benefits from Expedia’s vast technological resources and infrastructure. Expedia’s expertise in software development and data management helps Skyscanner enhance its platform, providing users with an even smoother and more efficient booking experience.

Furthermore, Skyscanner can leverage Expedia’s industry knowledge and insights to improve its algorithms and deliver more accurate search results.

Broader offering of travel products and services

With the partnership, both Skyscanner and Expedia can offer a wider range of travel products and services to their customers. Expedia’s extensive inventory of flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacation packages can be seamlessly integrated into Skyscanner’s platform.

This gives travelers more options to choose from and allows them to find the best deals for their desired destinations. The partnership also enables Expedia to showcase its exclusive offers and promotions to Skyscanner users.

Enhanced brand awareness and credibility

The collaboration between Skyscanner and Expedia boosts brand awareness and credibility for both companies. Skyscanner benefits from being associated with Expedia, a trusted and well-established name in the travel industry.

This partnership enhances Skyscanner’s reputation and gives users confidence in its services. On the other hand, Expedia gains recognition among Skyscanner users, expanding its reach and solidifying its position as a market leader.


While Skyscanner is not directly owned by Expedia, Expedia’s majority stake in Skyscanner gives them a very close relationship. The two brands collaborate extensively as partners, with Expedia providing financial and technical support while Skyscanner retains independence over its core flight search business.

Their strategic partnership expands their reach in the travel industry while allowing each company to focus on their strengths. Overall, Expedia’s acquisition of Skyscanner has been a success for both brands.

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