Air New Zealand and decentralized travel platform Winding Tree are partners in an effort to explore applications of blockchain technology in the airline industry.
The arrangement will take a closer look whether the nascent tech can empower New Zealand’s flag carrier airline to improve the security and efficiency of services.
This includes baggage tracking and ticket booking.
Blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that has supported the virtual currency bitcoin.
The technology has seeped into every aspect of the business and financial landscape.
Nearly every single major corporation in the world has their own variant of blockchain initiative.
Air New Zealand’s chief digital officer Avi Golan says the airline is also looking to use blockchain in other ways.
He cited use cases such as loyalty programs and distribution.
“While we are still exploring its benefits, blockchain may offer a streamlined way to retail airfares and ancillary products alongside our current channels.”
With the partnership, Golan adds, the airline expects to take advantage of quick and safe sharing of information.
This would bring benefits to customers by offering lessened costs.
Winding Tree is a decentralized marketplace built on the ethereum blockchain.
It seeks to foster what it thinks is the first travel marketplace to link suppliers such as airlines and hotels straight to sellers.
Air New Zealand says it has collaborated with a range of technology partners to introduce numerous innovations in the company.
These include artificial intelligence-backed chatbot Oscar, which helps customers with queries online and through the Air New Zealand’s mobile app.
Air New Zealand also shares that it is investing an unrevealed amount in Winding Tree’s token sale (or ICO), this January 2018.
Switzerland-based Winding Tree announced a separate partnership with Lufthansa back in October.
This aimed to develop a blockchain-based travel marketplace powered by a cryptographic token.
Other airlines too are looking to blockchain technology for use cases across the industry.
In July, Russian airline S7 said it was using the ethereum blockchain for the issue of air tickets.
Air France declared last month that it is reviewing the tech to track workflows within its aircraft maintenance systems.
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