It’s looking like there’s no sector that blockchain technology won’t transform, and the travel industry is no different. This is largely because blockchain has the ability to dramatically streamline processes within the travel industry and build a more transparent ecosystem that improves the level of trust among all parties.
Several companies have already recognized the technology potential and are emerging to create ingenious blockchain solutions that aim to improve the key aspects of the travel ecosystem. Winding Tree, a specialist blockchain-based startup that focuses on connecting travelers directly with airlines using smart contracts has struck a new deal with air travel giant Air France-KLM. The European airline group wants to explore how Winding Tree blockchain solutions can be implemented in their airline’s business offerings. The goal, Air France-KLM says, is to use blockchain to cut costs for air travelers and increase profits for airlines and service providers while ensuring there are no middlemen adding unnecessary fees to the booking process.
Air France-KLM and Winding Tree Blockchain Partnership
Air France-KLM is one of the largest airlines in the world with $29.1 billion in sales in 2017. It explained in a statement that it hoped the collaboration with Winding Tree would provide “a more advantageous travel offer for customers which is more profitable for suppliers, in particular by reducing the number of intermediaries.” The statement goes further to state that Air France-KLM will support the development of Winding Tree’s technology by testing the platform and providing feedback.
Built on the Ethereum platform, Winding Tree’s B2B network connects travelers service providers like airlines, hotels, and tour guides via a set of smart contracts and open-source tools without taking any transaction fees along the way. The result is a peer-to-peer economy that delivers better savings for all travel industry stakeholders. Winding Tree’s airline smart contract platform is currently in its alpha stage of development while the Beta version is expected to go live by the end of the year.
Blockchain Use Cases for Airlines
Even though distributed ledger technology (DLT) is still in its early stages, several use cases can be applied to airline businesses, including tracking the movements of luggage, and managing the identity of passengers, customer loyalty programmes and payments settlements. Airlines are hoping DLT as well as big data can help them manage large flows of data, reduce costs, and enhance efficiency in the travel industry. The aviation industry has seen other key blockchain initiatives in the last year such as Lufthansa’s launch of the industry’s first aviation blockchain challenge and Swissport’s pilot to explore the potential of blockchain for airport services in cargo handling business and passenger service delivery.