Air New Zealand experiments with blockchain technology

Blockchain can mean a decentralised alternative to current travel distribution systems

Air New Zealand is the latest airline to explore the use of blockchain technology within its business.Air New Zealand is partnering with Swiss travel platform Winding Tree, which is developing the world’s first travel marketplace on blockchain to connect suppliers such as airlines and hotels directly to sellers.

Blockchain is being used globally to build encrypted, shared platforms, providing a secure and efficient way to track the exchange of goods or information. Air New Zealand is looking at a number of potential use cases for the distributed ledger technology including cargo and baggage tracking, retail, distribution and loyalty programme opportunities.

Last month, Lufthansa announced it is partnering with Winding Tree to explore possible applications of blockchain technology.

Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan:

“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.”

“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.”

Winding Tree Founder and Chief Executive Officer Maksim Izmaylov:

“With a business-to-business marketplace system powering blockchain-based travel booking transactions, startups and companies will be able to gain direct access to travel service providers’ offerings.

“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.”

Air New Zealand has worked with a range of leading technology partners to introduce innovations to enhance the passenger experience. These include its artificial intelligence backed chatbot Oscar, who helps customers with queries online and through the Air New Zealand mobile app, and its experiment with the social robot Chip, who assisted customers with check in at Sydney Airport earlier this year.

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Internet links

Air New Zealand (NZ)

Winding Tree