Airbnb sets out to create an “end-to-end travel platform” with appointment of Global Head of Transportation


Fred Reid, Global Head of Transportation, Airbnb: “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. Realising those opportunities will take years and require constant experimentation, and I’m truly honoured to have the chance to take on such an audacious challenge with this team.”

Airbnb has announced the appointment of Fred Reid as Global Head of Transportation, stating its ambitions to expand into the sector. In this role, Reid will focus on building partnerships and services that make travel seamless, while delivering on its core mission to provide “people-to-people hospitality”.

To advance this mission, the company is focusing on building an “end-to-end travel platform” that combines where you stay, what you do, and how you get there, all in one place. To achieve this, the company is investing in creating new businesses that will power its growth over the long-term.

“There was a time when getting on a plane was a magical trip of its own, but over the years, how you get to where you’re going has become an experience we endure, not enjoy. We believe that needs to change,” said Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community Brian Chesky. “We couldn’t ask for anyone better to take on this monumental task than Fred, and I’m honoured that he’s agreed to work with us.”

A global aviation expert with more than three decades of experience, Reid has a proven track record of innovating and building products that drive the customer experience forward. He joins Airbnb from his role as President of Cora Aircraft Program, a division of Kitty Hawk, where he oversaw the development of one of the most advanced autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft in the world. Prior to that, he was President of Flexjet, an independent operating unit of Bombardier.

“Airbnb and its incredible global community have revolutionised where you stay and what you can do when you travel,” said Fred Reid, Global Head of Transportation, Airbnb. “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. Realising those opportunities will take years and require constant experimentation, and I’m truly honoured to have the chance to take on such an audacious challenge with this team.”

Reid was the founding Chief Executive Officer of Virgin America, shaping America’s “next generation airline” from the ground up, including the airline’s inflight service and entertainment, catering quality, and interior design. He served as President of Delta Airlines and led the formation of SkyTeam. He was the first U.S. national to ever lead a major international airline when he was named President and Chief Operating Officer of Lufthansa German Airlines in 1996, and was the co-architect of Star Alliance.

Moving forward, Airbnb is focusing on using its platform to create partnerships with the other stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry to deliver better travel experiences to travellers and create significant economic opportunities for these partners.

The company projects that it will have over 500 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings by the end of the first quarter of 2019.

“We’re going to explore a broad range of ideas and partnerships that can make transportation better. We haven’t settled on exactly what those will look like,” added Chesky. “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.”