Blockchain Use Cases Studied By Air New Zealand Teams

Announcements, Blockchain | November 24, 2017 By:

Air New Zealand has partnered with Swiss blockchain travel platform Winding Tree to explore blockchain use cases within its business.

Based in Auckland, Air New Zealand is the flag carrier airline of the country. It operates scheduled passenger flights to 21 domestic and 31 international destinations in 19 countries around the Pacific rim and the United Kingdom. The airline has been a member of the Star Alliance, one of the world’s largest global airline alliances, since 1999.

Air New Zealand is working with Winding Tree to explore blockchain for various applications such as retail airfares, cargo and baggage tracking, securing information and loyalty programs. The airline also said it is investing in Winding Tree’s Lif initial coin offering (ICO). The planned date for the ICO is February 18, 2018.

“With its built-in efficiency and security, blockchain has the potential to trigger huge innovation in travel, paving the way for new business models and collaboration,” said Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan. “While we are still exploring its benefits, blockchain may offer a streamlined way to retail airfares and ancillary products alongside our current channels. In removing complexity from the sales chain, customers benefit from reduced transactional costs, and airlines benefit from swift and secure sharing of information.”

Launched earlier this year, Winding Tree is a blockchain-based decentralized open-source travel distribution platform. A decentralized business-to-business (B2B) marketplace system, powering blockchain-based travel booking transactions, would enable startups and companies to gain direct access to travel service providers’ offerings without the need for intermediaries. The platform connects buyers and sellers via a set of smart contracts and open-source tools in a non-rent-seeking manner without taking a transaction fee. At the same time, the participants of the Winding Tree platform are able to govern the platform collaboratively.

According to Winding Tree, booking an international flight involves a multi-currency transaction which can span a handful of countries for a simple flight. A single booking can involve more than five currency trades for a simple flight if third-party insurance or a car rental is added to a booking at checkout. The Winding Tree platform plans to solve this problem by using blockchain technology to remove extensive currency conversion from the travel booking process.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Air New Zealand, as it’s an important step in bringing blockchain technology to the travel industry and creating opportunity for innovation,” said Winding Tree Founder and CEO Maksim Izmaylov.