Flight comparison websites are becoming increasingly popular amongst travellers, especially those looking to save a quick buck. One such comparison website is flight search engine JetRadar, founded by Konstantin Kalinov and managed by CEO Max Kraynov.
Based in Phuket, Thailand, JetRadar is no stranger to the travel industry. After all, Kalinov had earlier founded Aviasales, an East European-centric flight search engine seven years ago under Hong Kong-registered holding company Go Travel Un Limited. For the record, the firm had secured US$10 million in funding from iTech Capital.
The difference between Aviasales and JetRadar is that while the former is a product for East Europe, the latter caters to a more global audience, said Dmitriy Kachanov, Marketing Manager, JetRadar. Having different target markets also mean that the two search engines work with different agencies and suppliers, he added.
To date, JetRadar is active in 14 markets. According to an official statement, the most popular locations outside Russia include the US, the UK, Germany and Australia. Kachanov told this author that while those aforementioned markets take up about 80 per cent of all traffic, the remaining 20 per cent can be attributed to Thailand.
Furthermore, JetRadar’s namesake iOS app has experienced a 10 per cent week-on-week growth from Thai users, claimed the firm.
One new feature from JetRadar is its Magic Fare option. The company claims that this feature will allow travellers to save “a lot of money”, especially if they are okay with layovers.
We decided to compare JetRadar to competitors Skyscanner and Kayak. To make sure all other variables are the same, we used the same dates (29 August – 5 September), and chose ‘Economy’ for all three search engines.
JetRadar’s Magic Fare rendered me impressed with the cheapest result — a final price of US$1,190. The most expensive result, on the other hand, came from Kayak, which showed me a S$2,131 (US$1,704.39) result.
Upon deciding to book a particular route, users will be redirected to the travel agency’s payment page, where they can pay via credit card.
How is it that JetRadar is able to give such cheap rates? It really boils down to the factors that can be leveraged to negotiate prices of air tickets, which include partnerships with various airlines, commission discounts, and currency conversion rates, according to the firm’s landing page for Magic Fare. This tool would indeed please thrifty travellers with no preference regarding layovers.