We’re pleased to announce that we’ve appointed Microsoft veteran and former Travix International CEO John Mangelaars as our new CEO, following an extensive international search.
John will replace Moshe Rafiah, who has been splitting his time as CEO between both Skyscanner and Travelfusion, the company he founded over 20 years ago. Moshe will return to Travelfusion, but he’ll remain on Skyscanner’s Board as Vice Chair, a role he has held since 2019.
Of the appointment, Moshe commented:
“Skyscanner has become my second home since stepping in as CEO in June last year, but I feel highly confident in handing over the reins to John. He has a deep knowledge of the travel industry and over 30 years’ experience in multinational corporations. John has a proven track record of scaling e-commerce businesses and he is also a clear cultural fit, with a strong focus on people.
2020 was a challenging year, but we have started to see signs of travel returning, including uplifts in both searches and booking volumes: the roll out of the vaccine is clearly buoying consumer confidence. Skyscanner’s aim is to be the world’s leading travel marketplace, and as travel returns, we have a strong vision and strategy in leading the way for our travellers and partners. John will be key in executing this strategy as we seek to capitalise upon this pent-up demand.”
John, who spent 23 years at Microsoft, latterly as European Vice President, Advertising & Online, joined online travel agency group Travix as CEO in 2013.
He said: “I am delighted to join Skyscanner, an exceptional team driving a bold strategy in a time where there is considerable opportunity to leverage growth. My long-term focus will be on guiding the team in building sustainable profitability and market share. I speak for the wider Skyscanner team in thanking Moshe for his commitment to Skyscanner, not just in the past months, but as we go forward in his continued role as our Vice Chair.”
Mangelaars will begin his transition to Skyscanner immediately.
It’s an exciting time for Skyscanner, as we prepare for the return of travel. Last week we reported search and booking volumes from several markets, including the UK, trending upwards. As Moshe mentioned, we believe that the sector will see demand return in 2021 as the world opens up, much as it did when travel quarantine exemptions were revealed in 2020. At the time, bookings in the UK for Portugal spiked over 2000% immediately after a corridor was announced. Our latest research of 1,000 UK based travellers has found that 30% of those surveyed are planning to spend more money on travel than pre-pandemic, and 64% plan on travelling long-haul. July is currently the most searched for month for flight bookings on Skyscanner’s UK site, with heavily discounted prices across popular routes.
As the world begins to think about future travel again, we’ll be here for travellers. And we’re delighted to have John, our new CEO, along for the ride. Welcome to the team, John!