Cheapflights has officially unveiled what it believes is the next generation of flights meta-search, Zugu.
The move has seen the creation of a new group identity called Cheapflights Media, comprising the booking engine, newsletter and travel guides, as well as the original deals website.
Zugu has been designed as an easy-to-use site for a new audience whose travel plans are less flexible than the average Cheapflights user.
Cheapflights said Zugu would be a complementary channel to its deals site, offering advertisers and commercial partners another route to market.
Media chief executive Chris Cuddy said he thought both sites would appeal to different audiences and that the company had a “full roadmap” for the future development of each.
“We think they appeal to different audiences. Our primary objective was to design a product that people love and will come back to,” he said.
“This is about making meta-search simple. You are not going to see 88,000 results like you see on first generation sites. We are really focussed on relevancy. We really think we have a next-generation product.”
Zugu has been in beta for a few weeks but will be promoted to the public from today. Cheapflights said it was keen to get customers using the site so it can get feedback on what needs improving and functionality that needs adding.
Hugo Burge, Cheapflights chairman, said: “We have done some stress testing and had it out there surreptitiously. We expect to make a number of improvements within weeks, not months.”
Cuddy added: “We had a choice to launch it in beta or polish it over months and months but we decided to launch it now and hear from users what they think.”
Cheapflights is using Twitter and its Facebook page to gauge opinion and gather feedback about the site, and has set a competition for users to win flights by guessing what the name means.
Burge said: “We have a terrific story about the name and its values and meaning, and we want to have a conversation with people for them to find out what it means.”
Cheapflights plans to roll out Zugu internationally, and already owns several country-specific domains.
Read design expert Peter Matthews’ verdict on the site
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