Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere. To advance our mission, we are focused on reimagining travel by 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 goal, we are investing in creating new businesses that will power our growth over the long-term.
Today we are proud to announce that aviation industry pioneer Fred Reid has joined Airbnb as Global Head of Transportation. In his role, Fred will focus on building partnerships and services that make travel seamless while delivering the kind of people-to-people hospitality Airbnb is known for around the world.
“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 honored that he’s agreed to work with us.”
A global aviation expert with more than three decades of experience, Fred has a proven track record of innovating and building products that have been loved by consumers around the world. 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, the world’s largest business aviation manufacturer.
“Airbnb and its incredible global community have revolutionized where you stay and what you can do when you travel,” said Fred Reid, Airbnb’s Global Head of Transportation. “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.”
Fred was the founding Chief Executive Officer of Virgin America, shaping America’s “next generation airline” from the ground up, including its unique and beloved inflight service and entertainment, catering quality, and interior design. He served as President of Delta Airlines and led the formation of SkyTeam, regarded as the most integrated global airline alliance. 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 the Star Alliance, the first ever multi-airline, independently branded alliance.
As we move forward, Fred and the Airbnb team are uniquely positioned to use the Airbnb platform to partner with others in the travel and tourism industry to deliver better travel experiences to millions of people around the world and create significant economic opportunities for these partners. Airbnb is powered by our unrivaled global community of hosts and guests — Airbnb can connect travelers to more than 5 million places to stay and thousands of incredible experiences around the world. The power of this community is why we project that there will have been over 500 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings by the end of the first quarter of 2019. Our loyal and growing community has fueled a global brand that, according to a Google executive, “is now the most searched-for accommodations brand.” Together, our global community and brand enable us to create opportunities for partners in the travel space by offering them access to the Airbnb platform.
“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.”