Skyscanner’s CEO, Gareth Williams, became fascinated with computers as a teenager. Pursuing his love of code, he went on to study mathematics and computing at Manchester University, where he met ‘fellow geeks’ Bonamy Grimes and Barry Smith (who went on to become Skyscanner co-founders) who bonded over music and computer code.
As a keen skier who regularly escaped to the slopes, Gareth became frustrated with the difficult and tedious process of searching multiple airline and travel agent websites to find the best flight prices.Gareth envisioned a solution: a single website that could collect, collate and compare prices for every commercial flight in the world. At a pub brainstorming session between the three friends, from a simple excel spreadsheet, Skyscanner was born.
The project grew by word of mouth and when thousands of people were using the prototype Skyscanner site every day, the three founders realised they were on to something and gave up the day jobs. Opening an office in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Skyscanner site was officially launched in 2003.
The company grew to become the number one flight search engine in Europe. In 2011 a Singapore office was opened to help grow Skyscanner in the Asia-Pacific market, a Beijing office followed in 2012, together with a Glasgow office, followed in 2013 with an office in Miami. Now offering flight searches in more than 30 different languages including Thai, Japanese and Russian, Skyscanner is the travel site of choice for independent travellers all over the world.
Skyscanner continues to grow by listening to its users and giving them what they want; a travel website that is fast, flexible and finds the cheapest flights, hotels and car hire – with no added fees and no fuss.