Meet Airbnb’s new global head of transportation
Industry stalwart Fred Reid joins Airbnb as their global head of transportation. Is this a sign of further disruption for the hospitality industry?
Now that Airbnb has firmly established itself in the lodging sector of the hospitality market, it’s looking to branch out into other avenues, specifically into transportation.
To do so, the company that was once a startup and is now a $31-billion giant, has hired Fred Reid to serve as its first global head of transportation.
Reid served as the founding chief executive officer of Virgin America from 2004 to 2007 after a three-year stint as the president of Delta Airlines. Most recently, Reid was president of the Cora Aircraft Program, a division of Kitty Hawk focused on the development of an autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.
Airbnb’s Transportation Plans
Experts say that hiring someone as experience in transportation hospitality as Fred Reid suggests that Airbnb has a strong interest in disrupting the hospitality industry even further.
The company has said that by the end of the first quarter of 2019, it will have recorded a record 500 million guest arrivals to its listings. Integrating transportation to extend its hold on the hospitality market seems to be a natural next evolution.
“We’re going to explore a broad range of ideas and partnerships that can make transportation better,” Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said in a statement. “We haven’t settled on exactly what those will look like. I’m not interested in building our own airline or creating just another place on the Internet where you can buy a plane ticket, but there is a tremendous opportunity to improve the transportation experience for everyone.”
More About Fred Reid
A global aviation expert with more than three decades of experience, Reid has a proven track record of innovating and building products that have been loved by consumers around the world.
“Airbnb and its incredible global community have revolutionized where you stay and what you can do when you travel,” said Reid, “I’m excited to work with them to tackle the third part of the travel experience: how you get there. Whether in the air or on the ground, there are tremendous opportunities to create products and forge partnerships with other companies that make travel easier and even fun. Realizing those opportunities will take years and require constant experimentation, and I’m truly honored to have the chance to take on such an audacious challenge with this team.”
With Reid, Airbnb is uniquely positioned to use its platform to partner with others in the travel and tourism industry to deliver better travel experiences to millions of people around the world, thereby also creating significant economic opportunities for itself and its partners.
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