Air New Zealand Looking At Blockchain

November 22, 2017

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Air New Zealand has announced plans to explore blockchain technology and examine the potential for its businesses.

The New Zealand flag carrier said it will partner with Winding Tree, a Swiss travel platform which is developing a travel marketplace based on blockchain to connect suppliers such as airlines and hotels directly to sellers.

The Auckland-based airline said it is looking at potential use cases for blockchain technology including cargo and baggage tracking, retail, distribution and loyalty programme opportunities.

“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,” the airline’s chief digital officer Avi Golan said.

Blockchain is a secure ledger database that records and stores every transaction by all parties participating in a transaction. The technology eliminates the need for third parties such as banks and payment processors.

Winding Tree’s chief executive Maksim Izmaylov said that 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.”

Air New Zealand prides itself on being a technology innovator in the airline industry. It has used artificial intelligence to develop ‘Oscar’, a chatbot providing online help to customers, and is experimenting with robot technology for its airport check-in helper ‘Chip’.