Airports and aviation platforms all over the world are looking at blockchain technology to improve certain processes. The latest is the collaboration between Air France-KLM and Winding Tree.
Airports are busy places. People rushing for their flights, staff rushing to make said people happy, family members saying goodbye or hello. Things can get hectic, which is why airports look for ways to make processes simpler and to give their customers the attention they deserve.
Blockchain Flying High
According to Travel Daily News, this can be made possible through disruptive technology. Air France-KLM is partnering with blockchain-based Winding Tree to develop customer-focused travel solutions. The platform describes itself as a “decentralized travel ecosystem” that eradicates the need, and cost, of intermediaries or third parties.
Essentially, suppliers or sellers will be able to interact with customers to expedite travel processes as well as save money that would have gone to a third party. This equates to less money lost on commission for the former and more affordable travel or accommodation options for the latter.
The EVP Strategy and Innovation at Air France-KLM, Sonia Barriere, explained the potential impact this collaboration could have:
We are proud to be one of the first airline groups to join Winding Tree to develop blockchain technology. With a long-standing commitment to innovation with start-ups and partners, Air France-KLM is constantly creating the future of travel and devising solutions to make the travel experience easier and more personalized. With blockchain technology, we aim to revolutionize exchanges within the travel industry for our customers, companies and start-ups.
By being a part of Winding Tree’s ecosystem, the carrier will be able to provide the platform with real feedback which is crucial to the improvement and ongoing development of the platform. Winding Tree’s founder and Chief Operating Officer, Pedro Anderson, shared his excitement:
The Air France-KLM group has built a reputation when it comes to using technology to enhance the customer experience. We are excited to join them in their goal and commitment towards becoming the leading airline in customer intimacy and we are excited to bring blockchain technology as the tool needed to achieve real innovation and enhanced customer satisfaction.
Interest from the Aviation Industry
While Air France-KLM is quite clearly embracing disruptive innovation, they are by no means the first in the aviation industry to integrate blockchain technology into their processes. According to Airport World, a report by industry information technology company, SITA, shows that blockchain garnered the most research interest for this year.
The company’s director, Gustavo Pina, lamented the fact that so many processes are involved in different sections of the industry. He also touched on the difference that blockchain could make:
The biggest obstacles standing in the way of a seamless passenger journey and truly efficient air travel, are the siloed processes across the many stakeholders, including airlines, airports, ground handlers and control authorities. They act as significant speed bumps at every step of the way. By collaborating as a single industry, we can smooth that journey and blockchain is one of the technologies that has the potential to make that possible. This explains the industry’s significant interest in it.
These are some of the results from the report:
59% of airlines have blockchain-based pilot or research programmes to be launched by 2021
34% of airports are planning R&D projects by 2021
40% of airlines and 36% of airports state that blockchain could streamline the passenger identification process
34% of airlines believe that the technology could assist with launching passenger tokens for frequent flyer programmes
31% of airlines feel that it could help with the launch of e-tickets
28% of airport ICOs said blockchain could benefit custody change tracking
24% of airport ICOs stated that the technology could assist with operational efficiency
SITA will lead and manage the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox, which will explore just how blockchain can be best used in the industry. Pina added:
Through this collaborative innovation we will accelerate the learning for all and have already significant interest in pursuing cross-industry initiatives through the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox initiative.
This platform will make use of smart contracts known as FlightChain, which has already been used by British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport.
It definitely seems as if the aviation sector is giving the healthcare industry a run for its money when it comes to blockchain interest and adoption.
How would you like to see blockchain technology improve your flying experience? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Pixabay.
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