Yesterday, German airline Hahn Air announced a partnership with blockchain travel firm Winding Tree. Hahn Air claims to be the first airline to issue a real-world ticket on the blockchain technology provided by Winding Tree. The latter is known for deals with major airlines such as Air France-KLM and Lufthansa.
The two firms collaborated on issuing blockchain tickets to passengers on a flight from Dusseldorf to Luxemburg on November 18. The travelers were senior executives from the two firms.
Winding Tree is an open-source platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. Market participants can easily connect to the solution and securely interact with each other without the need for intermediaries.
Using Winding Tree, Hahn Air was able to list inventory, manage the reservation requests, and receive payments once the booking process is complete. The platform accepts payment in the form of cash, credit card or cryptocurrencies like Ether or LIF, Winding Tree’s proprietary token.
“Our goal is to investigate and monitor the opportunities this technology [blockchain] holds for travel distribution, even if widespread acceptance is still a vision of the future,” said Frederick Nowotny, Head of Sales Engineering at Hahn Air.
Winding Tree is aiming to break the data silos of travel distribution service providers. The firm has previously said that just three firms — Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport — control 99% of the non-direct ticket sale market. The company says this market monopoly creates higher costs both for customers and airline.
“Hahn Air is the ideal partner for Winding Tree as they are the leading company in airline distribution solutions with broader knowledge, an innovative mindset and an unparalleled network,” said Pedro Anderson, COO and Co-Founder of Winding Tree.
Along with Hahn Air, the airline partners of Winding Tree include Etihad Airways, Air Canada, Air France-KLM, Lufthansa and Swissport. The blockchain firm has also partnered with hotels like Nordic Choice Hotels, citizenM Hotel chain, and Airport Hotel Basel.