Airbnb has appointed aviation industry pioneer, Fred Reid, as its Global Head of Transportation, signalling its intention to build an end-to-end travel platform.
"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," comments Brian Chesky, Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community.
"We believe that needs to change. 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.
Fred was also 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.
"Airbnb and its incredible global community have revolutionised where you stay and what you can do when you travel," Fred comments. "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. Realising 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."