Air France-KLM inks new Winding Tree deal
In an effort to boost profits and slash middlemen Air France-KLM has agreed a partnership with blockchain-based booking player Winding Tree. Lufthansa agreed a similar deal with Winding Tree last October.
AF-KLM says companies and start-ups should benefit from “a wide range of offers – flights, hotels etc – and will be able to offer travel solutions which are adapted to their customers’ needs”.
In return the airline will support Winding Tree’s technological developments by bench-testing the blockchain tech and give feedback as development progresses. “Air France-KLM is constantly creating the future of travel and devising solutions to make the travel experience easier and more personalized,” said Sonia Barrière, executive vice president of strategy and innovation.
“With Blockchain technology, we aim to revolutionize exchanges within the travel industry for our customers, companies and start-ups.”
Meanwhile, Air France-KLM has a new boss in the face of Benjamin Smith. However, the airline is riven with union conflict with pilots over pay and conditions as well as profit pressures.
No stranger to union issues
Smith was the former chief operating officer at Air Canada where there was no shortage of union disputes. Air France remains a valuable franchise but state support is in short supply. With little chance of a bail-out blockchain savings pressure will continue.
Separately, research company Sita recently finished a six-month trial of blockchain flight-status tech embedded into BA operations at Heathrow.