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August 24, 2012

Baidu partners with Skyscanner for international flight search

Deal will intensify battle with Google

By CBR Staff Writer

Chinese search engine Baidu has partnered with Skyscanner, a UK-based flight search engine, to offer information about international flights to its users, taking aim at Google’s lead in this field.

Baidu’s search engine will offer results of international flights to the users from Skyscanner’s database of more than 750 million air fares from in excess of 900 airlines.

Skyscanner, known as Tianxun in China, is also planning to open a China-based office in Beijing, following the opening of the travel search engine’s first Asia-Pacific office in Singapore.

Skyscanner co-founder and CEO Gareth Williams said: "Overall in Asia, we fully expect Skyscanner to grow to the size of our European business within a relatively short period and we are investing with this in mind."

According to the UK-based firm, traffic growth across Asia-Pacific rose 400% since September 2011, while China solely reported 700%rise during the same period.

Skyscanner is planning to relocate its regional headquarters in Singapore to accommodate its planned doubling of its workforce over the next twelve months.

In 2009, the travel industry in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific was anticipated to be worth $723bn and nearly a third of transactions were made online.

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During 2011, the company increased its revenues by 70% to £15.3m and more than doubled its profits to £3.4m and the company expects its revenue to touch £20m this year and more than £60m over the next two years.

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