Air France-KLM follows Lufthansa down Winding Tree path for blockchain technology

Air France-KLM has followed its rival Lufthansa Group by partnering with Winding Tree to develop blockchain technology in the travel industry. The aim of this new agreement is to provide “a more advantageous travel offer for customers which is more profitable for suppliers, in particular by reducing the number of intermediaries,” via blockchain technology, say the companies.


Summary:

  • Air France-KLM is partnering with Winding Tree to develop blockchain technology in the travel industry;
  • It follows rival Lufthansa Group in supporting Winding Tree’s technological developments by testing the technology and providing feedback;
  • This latest partnership continues Air France-KLM’s innovation strategy to devise solutions to make the travel experience simpler and more personalised;
  • This month Air France and BETC have created a novel concept to bringing together start-up entrepreneurs and its premium passenger base.

Thanks to Winding Tree’s business-to-business platform, users, and in particular companies and start-ups, are expected to 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. Air France-KLM says it will support Winding Tree’s technological developments by testing the technology and providing feedback as the development progresses.

This latest partnership continues Air France-KLM’s innovation strategy to devise solutions to make the travel experience simpler and more personalised. Using advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, Air France, KLM and Transavia have already developed chatbots dedicated to customer service (tracking checked baggage, adding additional baggage, booking assistance, etc.). The group also supports numerous projects such as the development of electronic tags and the real-time baggage tracking system.

“We are proud to be one of the first airline groups to join Winding Tree to develop blockchain technology” says Sonia Barriere, EVP strategy and innovation at Air France-KLM. “With blockchain technology, we aim to revolutionise exchanges within the travel industry for our customers, companies and start-ups.”

“One of the first airline groups” is a loose term as Winding Tree already includes Lufthansa Group as a partner. Winding Tree’s founder and COO, Pedro Renaud Anderson, told The Blue Swan Daily earlier this year that its product is “about opening up the door for innovation” in the travel industry.

What is clear though is Air France-KLM’s commitment to change. This month Air France and BETC have created a novel concept bringing together start-up entrepreneurs and its millions of passengers, whereby Air France customers will be able to exclusively test the products or services of 10 French start-ups, spanning a wide range of fields including augmented reality, biomimicry, artificial intelligence and magnetometry, as well as wine appreciation, music, culture and well-being.

“Today, start-ups are a new emblem of France. They embody part of the country’s modernity and dynamism. However, the reality is not always simple for the start-up nation’s entrepreneurs. A good idea is not enough, the real test is the first user tests. However, there exist few solutions for obtaining valuable user feedback and improving the products or services,” explains Air France.

It hopes to achieve this across the collaboration and through the first half of the month passengers visiting the Air France Terminal 2E, Hall M lounge at the airline’s Paris Charles De Gaulle hub, can…

  • Explore a virtual world with MyEGGO – A 3D modelling cabin, with 400 tiny cameras that can create an avatar to within a millimetre’s accuracy;
  • Relax thanks to biomimicry and chromotherapy with GLOWEE – a living light source from nature, a revolutionary way to produce and consume electricity;
  • Non-stop access to culture, anywhere in the world with UMA (Universal Museum of Art) – the first virtual reality museum providing unique exhibitions, available for free over the internet.
  • A wine tasting experience with AVEINE – a smart wine aerator that allows the right amount of air into a bottle, allowing it to breathe correctly.
  • Re-discover the magic of drawing with LA SLATE 2+ – the pleasure of paper mixed with the magic of digital technology with a slate that transforms the digital drawing experience;
  • Listen to unparalleled audio quality with OW1 – a portable audio system converting digital audio to analogue.

Additional innovations can also be accessed via the frenchtech.airfrance.com website through to the end of the month. These comprise a GPS app for cyclists; an app providing nutritional facts and calories on meals from a photo; and two ways to learn a foreign language with voice recognition and artificial intelligence.

In addition to the many links forged with start-ups to offer ever more innovative products and services, Air France says it “is committed to supporting them” through the various stages of their development. For the past five years it has supported numerous start-ups through original operations with high international visibility and a range of tailor-made solutions.