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We were wondering what happened to Google’s acquisition of ITA, the world’s largest flight information company, and just exactly what it would do with it, ever since the news broke last year. Well, Google was recently allowed to buy the company after running into some hot water with the Department of Justice, and has now launched a flight schedule search feature, though it insists it did not use ITA technology.
The news was posted on the official Google blog, and explained the company’s rationale behind the move:
“…finding flights is one of the most popular online activities, so to make it a little easier to find results for your travel-related searches, you can now see a quick summary of flight information right on the results page.
Now, all users will require is a destination in mind, and when they enter a simple query 'flights from [source] to [destination],' they will get a some non-stop flight schedules, or a summary of daily flight details. A full time table is available as well, in a link entitled “Schedule of non-stop flights.” Looks like hopping flights aren’t supported yet.[RELATED_ARTICLE]
The feature will also allow users to see all the destinations possible from a particular airport, by searching 'flights from [source].' For now, though the service has been launched globally, it is available in ten languages – English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Turkish, and Catalan.
Apropos ITA, Google will admittedly be using their technology in the future, providing even richer flight options and searches, not in the least, including price searches. The current move is apparently just “a small step towards making richer travel information easier to find,” and Google hopes to “make finding flights online feel so easy, it’ll feel like... well, a vacation!”