Airbnb is developing a flight-booking tool, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The product is still early in development, according to the report, and it’s unclear how Airbnb would acquire the necessary data or integrate flight-booking into the existing offerings. Still, the new service is seen as an important part of the company’s long-term strategy, intended to launch before a planned IPO in 2018.
The move would put Airbnb in even greater competition with giants like Expedia, Kayak, and Travelocity, in an already crowded marketplace for flight-booking services. Notably, Expedia purchased the Airbnb competitor HomeAway for $3.9 billion in 2015.
As the company battles with local renting laws, Airbnb has also shown great interest in expanding beyond simple rentals. Last month, the company launched an “experience” service called Airbnb Trips, which guides travelers to restaurants, classes, and day trips in 12 cities across the world. Airbnb plans to expand the service to as many as 50 cities by the end of 2017.