Czech start up Kiwi bears fruit with doubled turnover

The Czech flight search company Kiwi.com last year doubled its turnover to 17.7 billion crowns (some 700 million euros), the Czech News Agency reported on Friday. Company founder Oliver Dlouhý expects to double turnover again this year.

Photo: Pixabay, CC0 Public DomainPhoto: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain Kiwi, which was established in 2012, is regarded as one of the biggest and most successful recent Czech start-ups and belongs among the top five air-ticket sellers on the European market.

Kiwi’s says its search system offers tickets that are equal to or cheaper than those offered by their rival companies in roughly 60 percent of cases.

“We would like to reach 90 or 95 percent,” Mr Dlouhý told the Czech News Agency, adding that the company keeps looking for experts to develop their unique search system.

The idea for the company came in 2011 when Dlouhý, one of the founders, tried in vain to book a cheap flight. A year later the company was created and it has hardly looked back since.

The concept is simple: you give the company your dates and destinations and it does the rest to make the cheapest bookings and adds on other services and guarantees.

The company also offers special services in case of delayed flights and launched a pilot service combining journeys with four large European railway companies. In the coming weeks the company will enlarge its offer by including another 150 rail and bus operators.

“In the first phase, we will connect only towns with airports. In the second phase, it will be possible to travel to New York from Jindřichův Hradec and in the third phase, we will also involve taxi services ad Uber to get the customer from door to door,” Dlouhý told the Czech News Agency.

Based in Brno, Kiwi.com currently employs around 1,500 people and has branches in nine countries in the world. It also plans to open a customer centre in Bogota, Columbia.