Lufthansa Group has entered a content partnership with blockchain-based travel distribution platform Winding Tree.
The Swiss-based blockchain start-up’s marketplace for travel content is intended to make travel cheaper for travellers and more profitable for providers.
Its decentralized B2B marketplace system powers blockchain-based travel booking transactions, allowing companies direct access to travel service providers’ products without the “inefficiencies” of intermediaries.
With the Lufthansa deal, it is hoped that airlines, hotels and other travel service providers will offer their services on Winding Tree’s platform and companies interested in content will only present specific offers tailored to their customers’ needs.
Travellers will soon be able to book Lufthansa Group flights – through apps that are yet to be released – via the offer that best suits their preferences.
Markus Binkert, senior vice president, distribution and revenue management at Lufthansa Group Airlines, said: “Lufthansa Group has engaged in the development of APIs, for instance supporting IATA NDC standard, to offer a direct access to its offers to customers and distribution partners.
“By integrating these APIs with Winding Tree’s public blockchain Lufthansa Group enables all innovative partners who develop cutting-edge travel applications to access these offers via a decentralized and intermediate-free travel marketplace.”
Winding Tree is to launch a token sale of its cryptocurrency “Líf” on November 1 in order to finance the initial development and “facilitate acceptance by suppliers”
To reinforce its confidence in the new technology, Lufthansa Group is participating in the presale after regulatory clearance from Swiss authorities.
Maksim Izmaylov, founder and CEO of Winding Tree, added: “The partnership with the Lufthansa Group will allow us to build blockchain-based travel apps which not only adhere to the requirements of airlines but we will be able to test these with Europe’s largest airline, further validating the efficiency and scalability of the platform. Lufthansa Group is setting an example for the travel industry.”
The contact to Winding Tree was established via the Lufthansa Innovation Hub for which the airline group is always on the lookout for new innovators.
Chief digital officer Christian Langer said: “To us, Winding Tree is a strong candidate to turn today’s understanding of distribution upside down.”