Swissport International, a major airport ground services and cargo handler, is exploring the potential of applying blockchain for airport services including cargo handling business and passenger service delivery.
The Swiss aviation services provider has signed letters of intent with two blockchain start-ups Olam and Winding Tree to jointly launch the blockchain pilot program, according to a press release.
Olam is a Swiss non-profit foundation that is focused on developing an open-source platform for the supply chain industry while Winding Tree is a blockchain-based travel distribution platform. The blockchain solution will ensure that Swissport’s existing travel services and new offers are distributed so that any provider can tap into its inventory via Winding Tree.
The company will initially use blockchain for airport services that are tailored to independent travelers such as airport lounge access, but the company said the blockchain-based platform can also facilitate an efficient distribution of additional services to its individual and corporate clients.
Winding Tree’s travel industry clients currently consist of airlines and hotels. Swissport will be the platform’s launch partner for ancillary ground travel services.
Swissport’s head of innovation unit, Florian Eggenschwiler said:
“Blockchain allows us to reimagine how we work with our partners in the complex aviation and logistics ecosystem. We expect to see lasting benefits from this technology for fragmented global industries like aviation services and supply chain. It will likely change how service providers, clients, and partners will transact with each other”.
He also added that apart from adopting blockchain technologies in their early stages, they are also open to partnering with leading technology companies to explore blockchain use cases for their business operations.
And with its cargo handling business, Swissport intends to start a proof of concept initiative with Olam. The fully decentralized, secure and trust-enabled platform is capable of allowing partners in a seamless manner.
In reiterating the benefits of blockchain for creating a secure digital record of every transaction, Hendrik Leyssens, who is the head of global cargo operations at Swissport stated:
“Blockchain could speed up transactions, enhance transaction security and at the same time unlock cost savings.”
It is worth noting that Winding Tree’s platform leverages blockchain technology to connect suppliers (e.g. hotels and airlines), and sellers (e.g. travel agencies), to a single marketplace, removing unnecessary cost by eliminating the need for intermediaries. On the other hand, Olam uses the distributed ledger technology and smart contracts to record and store shipment data as well as contractual agreements between supply chain parties.