Kiwi’s NOMAD Multi-city Flight Search

We’ve mentioned a couple times that Kiwi.com is a flight search engine well worth checking out to explore your trip options because it’s the only one we know of that will do multi-airline routing instead of only searching for codeshare options —

— well, they’ve really upped their game with this new search tool that will not only match fuzzy dates but also rearrange your itinerary to find the cheapest possible route:

Kiwi.com revolutionises multi-city travel with NOMAD

Multi-city trips have long been a feature of online travel agencies. But travellers must create their own itineraries, often experimenting with different combinations in tens of different browser windows to do their own comparison on what exactly is the best route.

Now with NOMAD, Kiwi.com does the work instead – in seconds.

Using its powerful algorithms and proprietary data, Kiwi.com is able to search for the cheapest route possible between cities on the dates that a traveller wants to leave and return. No longer will people be flicking through tabs for hours trying to find the perfect adventure.

And, because the computer is doing the work the savings can be immense. One search using MultiCity for an adventure from Prague to London, Stockholm, Paris and Rome returned a result of €442 for the whole trip.

Using NOMAD, this cost just €276…

NOMAD is based on a centuries old mathematical problem called the travelling salesman. It is considered incredibly difficult to solve and belongs to a group of problems called NP-hard. 

The travelling salesman must travel between a number of different cities, but doesn’t care about the order in which he does so. He just wants to find the most efficient way to visit each one. If the salesman is visiting 10 different cities, there are 180,000 different combinations of journeys that must be checked to find the most efficient route…

We’ve given you some tips on doing this yourself more efficiently with Flghtmapper Flight Finding — and not every airline is in Kiwi.com, just a lot more than anybody else, so the techniques there will help you finish the job — but it sure is nice having the computer do most of the work for you, isn’t it?

So, let’s give it a practical test. Say we feel like doing a Central Asia tour, since we had a pretty fun time visiting Kazakhstan last fall and all; let’s see how it does if we feed it Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), Bishkek(Kyrgyzstan), Dushanbe (Tajikistan), and Tashkent (Uzbekistan) on a return flight to Bangkok:

Kiwi's NOMAD Flight Tool

… and it comes up with a collective $1466 and 79 hours of travel as the cheapest option. However, it’s immediately clear that Ashgabat is by far the most ridiculous of those routings, getting there via a 4-hop flight through India and Arabia and getting to the next country over through … Moscow? OK, that looks like a mess, surely we can do better than that.

So, let’s go to FlightMapper for Turkmenistan … yes, Ashgabat is the only international airport, it only has 8 destinations, and NOMAD did indeed find the best ones for a trip including these four cities. Huh. We didn’t realize Turkmenistan was that isolated. Looks like flying in through Dubai is the only really practical option from this side of the world unless you’re going overland, actually.

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p dir=”ltr”>So there you go: since NOMAD did what’s apparently just as a good a job in a few seconds with a Tour Of The `Stans as we can see would be actually possible if we were planning it manually — it just jumped to the first spot on our list for starting to plan out a complicated itinerary!

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Alex Curylo

Alex

I go places.

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