2021 financial results: Alternative Airlines best ever year

Alternative Airlines increases revenue by 197% to £28m in 2021 and finishes on its best ever financial year

Alternative Airlines’ bookings soar by an incredible 93% compared to pre-pandemic levels as air travel continues to recover.

13/12/21 — Alternative Airlines, the global flight search and booking site, has achieved it’s best ever financial year in 2021 — generating £28m (GBP) in revenue. That’s an increase of 197% compared to 2020, when Alternative Airlines generated £9.4m in revenue. But of even more significance is that, despite the travel industry not having fully recovered from the coronavirus pandemic, Alternative Airlines’ 2021 revenue far exceeds the £18.9m revenue that the site generated in pre-pandemic 2019, with an increase of 68%. 

The remarkable increase in revenue can be attributed to an increase in booking volumes, as well as an enhanced ancillary product offering, which has increased average order value. Booking volume grew by a phenomenal 239% between 2020 and 2021 and 93% between 2019 and 2021. 

With bookings set to grow even further as international travel continues to resume, this announcement confirms that Alternative Airlines is well on the way to achieving its goal of £100m revenue by 2023

Having adapted to the pandemic by driving sales in markets where travel remained prevalent — most notably on domestic travel within North America — Alternative Airlines’ success is also thanks to its persistent focus on optimising customer experience, airline content and the launch of new payment options, including ‘buy now pay later’.

Alternative Airlines’ Managing Director, Sam Argyle, stated: “We’re incredibly proud to announce that in 2021 we achieved our best ever financial year — testament to the resilience and adaptability of our team in overcoming the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. We’re reaping the benefit from our dedication to providing exceptional customer service, while developing innovative tech to optimise the online booking experience for our customers, giving them an easy, convenient and flexible way to buy flights, no matter where they are in the world.”

Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, which has included numerous flight schedule changes, delays and cancellations, Alternative Airlines currently has an ‘excellent’ score and rating of 4.4 stars on the independent review site Trustpilot. This is a result of steady improvements that Alternative Airlines’ Customer Service team has made to  streamline processes and continue to offer exceptional customer service. This includes investment in using technology to bring greater automation, such as the launch of a new self-service flight cancellation option, available via the site’s ‘Manage my booking’ portal, and upgrading customer support systems to more effectively manage customer communications.

Alternative Airlines’ in-house tech team has also launched a number of innovative projects to bring ever more diverse and richer airline content to customers. An example of this is the introduction of Virtual Interlining (VI) on the site. In partnership with Amadeus, VI enables Alternative Airlines to provide greater airline mix-and-matching capability, combining different carriers on one flight itinerary even when these carriers do not share an existing interline agreement. Many major carriers have reduced their route networks as a result of the pandemic, especially between secondary cities in the US, but through VI Alternative Airlines is able to continue to bring complex flight content to customers in a simple itinerary that is quick and easy to book. 

Alternative Airlines strives to provide a complete and personalised booking experience. In 2021, the company developed its own seat map allowing customers to choose their preferred seat across hundreds of airlines, and has added additional re-assurance ancillary services including Lost Baggage Protection, Cancellation Protection and Automatic Check-In. Customers can easily customise their booking to meet their needs and ensure that their flying experience is as convenient and stress-free as possible. 

Offering the choice of over 600 carriers,160+ currencies and taking bookings from more than 160 countries each year, Alternative Airlines is set up as a global business. In 2020, the site’s global reach was critical in helping it survive and grow out of the Coronavirus pandemic. But in 2021, this was even more significant and a major factor in the company posting its best ever financial year to date. 

Alternative Airlines has maintained an adaptable and fluid approach — targeting and switching between markets as travel restrictions have evolved. As a result, in 2021 the site increased bookings from a number of markets when compared to 2020, including Nepal (+58%), Mexico (+54%), Australia (+37%), Kenya (+30%), France (+24%) and Canada (+12)

A particularly significant opportunity that Alternative Airlines has remained focused on has been to target domestic travellers in larger markets where internal travel remained prevalent despite international travel restrictions. In fact, over 85% of bookings over the past year were made in the US, the majority of which were for domestic travel. 

One way that Alternative Airlines continues to target domestic travellers is through a number of new 'buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) payment plan options on the site. In its mission to provide greater convenience for customers, Alternative Airlines has long offered payment plans. 

The addition of more BNPL options on the site means that Alternative Airlines now offers over 40 worldwide and localised payment options, which also includes e-wallets and even cryptocurrency. This allows customers to pay in any way that they want, from anywhere in the world.

Alternative Airlines has demonstrated its resilience and adaptability in overcoming the challenges of COVID-19. Having achieved its best ever financial year in 2021, Alternative Airlines is looking forward to continuing its growth in the months to come. 

To begin searching for flights, visit: alternativeairlines.com.