German airline Hahn Air has become the first carrier to issue a ticket enabled by blockchain technology provided by open-source travel distribution platform Winding Tree.
The ticket was issued for Hahn Air’s flight from Dusseldorf to Luxemburg on 18 November, with the first “blockchain passengers” named as Maksim Izmaylov and Davide Montali, Winding Tree’s founder and CIO respectively, and Frederick Nowotny, head of sales engineering at the airline.
Using the Winding Tree platform, Hahn Air can list inventory, manage reservation requests and receive payments once the booking process is complete. Currently, accepted methods of payment include cash, credit card, or cryptocurrency (such as a LIF token or Ether).
According to Winding Tree, blockchain offers multiple advantages for the process of booking an airline ticket. The platform’s open-source nature enables airlines, travel companies and distribution systems to easily connect and exchange transactions, while all market participants can directly interact with each other and perform transactions without intermediaries, thereby reducing costs.
In addition, the company says blockchain is “100 per cent secure”, with all of the necessary information stored in a decentralised ledger that is verified by millions of sources and therefore cannot be changed or tampered with.
Hahn Air’s Nowotny commented: “We are Hahn Air are constantly exploring new technologies and we are proud to now demonstrate our technical capability to issue blockchain-powered Hahn Air tickets. We are pleased to be partnering with Winding Tree, the most established company when it comes to distributing travel inventory in the blockchain. Our goal is to investigate and monitor the opportunities this technology holds for travel distribution, even if widespread acceptance is still a vision of the future.”
Winding Tree’s Izmaylov added: “While blockchain technology is currently almost exclusively associated with the cryptocurrency bitcoin, it bears great potential for all industries and endless applications. It will have an enormous impact on all areas of economy and commerce over the next decades. We at Winding Tree believe that blockchain will have the power, like New Distribution Capability - a new system of technology standards to allow the distribution of airfares and ancillaries through third parties which is being developed by airline association IATA with..., to fundamentally change the face of travel distribution.”
Pedro Anderson, COO and co-founder of Winding Tree, said: “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. We are very pleased that we were able to complete the first transaction for an airline ticket on the blockchain.”
Earlier this year, Winding Tree claimed to be the first to process a hotel booking using blockchain technology.