Air France – KLM Jumps on Blockchain Bandwagon with Winding Tree

Air France

For a while now, many of the world’s largest and most prestigious airlines have been trying to reinvent themselves in order to chase a better customer experience. Now, Air France-KLM and its subsidiaries are announcing an agreement with blockchain company Winding Tree that’s aimed at using data processes to make flying easier for passengers.

News outlets are reporting October 4 that in addition to contracts with airlines like Lufthansa, Air New Zealand and Brussels Airlines, Winding Tree is going to provide services to Air France in order to improve various business processes.

With its own fairly recent ICO, Winding Tree doesn’t just serve airlines. Its sets of smart contracts with Ethereum are also in use by lodging companies and other customers. Essentially, Winding Tree brings the power of blockchain to automated and fully documented transactions, making it easier for sellers to sell, and for buyers to buy.

What’s blockchain going to offer to Air France? Company executives hope to simplify booking processes, track luggage better, and work with seating to prevent overbooking scenarios which have plagued some American airlines in recent years. In general, the airlines want to avoid bad PR related to having to pull people off of planes at the last minute.

Looking into the ink of this and other blockchain deals, you can see the benefits of utilizing these new digital technologies to create transparency. Better data paths for seating assignments will eliminate some of the problems associated with the chaotic process of boarding. Better luggage tracking will leave fewer hapless passengers watching and waiting forlornly by an empty baggage carousel.

Air France is not the only big global air carrier to experiment with blockchain. Nor is it the only one to focus these efforts on customer experience. GCC airlines have been working on these projects for years – and so have others in America and elsewhere.

For more of a glimpse into how Winding Tree works for airlines, take a look at a recent interview of Lufthansa Senior Venture Development Manager Reinhard Lanegger  last year, where Coindesk writer Jonathan Keane characterized Lanegger’s comments as indicating the airline is “interested in exploring use cases that would put booking, rebooking and traveler itinerary information on a blockchain.”

Those with an interest in modernizing air travel or any other consumer services are paying attention to these adoptions. A piece in Accenture describes the role of crypto as an agent that “elegantly transfers and tokenizes value” and explains more about the potential for world air carriers. Data sharing is so central to air travel that the applications of blockchain technologies, in an era where vendors are rapidly advancing, are abundant.

It’s really an industry-wide phenomenon that promises to give new wind to cryptocurrency and blockchain related stocks as another sector where these new types of fintech can make a big difference.