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David Gunnarsson, CEO Dohop: While the going is tough, find a way to survive and stay the course as best you can, and do everything you need to make sure you survive

David Gunnarsson’s professional experience includes both the financial sector and the online travel sector.

In the online travel sector he has spent four years with Dohop, initially as head of marketing, then adding sales and finally also business development. After a brief stint in the financial sector, he came back to Dohop in a new role as head of sales and strategy.

More about Dohop and David’s experience can be found below:

What’s the story behind Dohop?

Back in 2004, one of our founders was working in Southern France and he was struggling to find the right connecting flights to minimize the cost of travelling back home to Iceland. This was at a time when low cost airlines had started taking significant market share and you would have to visit the websites of several different airlines and try to manually find the best flight combination to get you to your destination. Dohop was founded to solve this problem, to help people find and book the best and cheapest connecting flights by themselves.

The first version of our flight search engine was released in 2005, and since then we’ve won the top prize at The World’s Leading Flight Comparison Website five times in the past six years at the World Travel Awards.

In 2012 we were approached by Milan Malpensa airport to help them with a project called ViaMilano and that was the start of our shift to virtual interline. Following that we launched GatwickConnects, another airport product and this then lead to our work with easyJet, launching Worldwide by easyJet in 2017.

Dohop’s core technology, ever from the beginning has been to create connecting itineraries. Today, the same technology stands at the core of Dohop’s offering and of several connecting airline platforms powered by Dohop in the quest to revolutionize travel connectivity.

What was the most difficult part of your experience in the early beginnings?

The company was founded in 2004 but I did not join until 2009. In the early days we struggled to find traction in the consumer flight search market, real traction outside our home market in Iceland. It was also hard to focus. Opportunities are everywhere if you keep your eyes open, but you have to be extremely selective to make sure you stay focused on your main mission, but don’t lose out on significant opportunities that make sense for you to go after.

What are you most proud of regarding your business?

I’m most proud of the team. The team has stayed strong through massive adversity for several years, and especially throughout 2020. The team always pulls through, continuing to deliver in spite of hard times through covid. We’ve recently raised money so now we’ll really have a chance to shine. Our customers like working with us and many comment on how open and adaptable our people, which is exactly what we want to achieve.

What is your vision for the future of Dohop?

Dohop will be a leading travel technology company, focused on airline partnerships and distribution.

What’s your advice for the businesses that are trying to adapt to this economic climate?

Don’t give up. Covid will end, travel and normal life will resume and when it does, we have to be ready for it. While the going is tough, find a way to survive and stay the course as best you can, and do everything you need to make sure you survive.

What books do you have on your nightstand?

My Kindle is on my nightstand but I mostly consume books through Audible these days. There a few that I keep coming back to such as The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Shoe Dog, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Anything You Want, and A Truck Full of Money. I’ve recently read a couple of books about Netflix – No Rules Rules and Powerful, both great reads with plenty of insights. On the lighter side, I love all of Bill Bryson’s travel books, and I really enjoy biographies and autobiographies, such as Unstoppable by Maria Sharapova, Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby, and Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman. I suppose I could talk about books all day – the list is very long!

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