The Lufthansa Group has partnered with Switzerland-based startup Winding Tree to develop a decentralised booking marketplace using blockchain.
It is envisioned that, in the future, airlines, hotels and other travel service providers will offer their services on Winding Tree’s platform. Companies interested in content will only connect to the B2B blockchain-distributed digital marketplace to present specific offers tailored to their customers’ needs.
This should result in a large number of new apps for travellers, who will then be able to book Lufthansa Group flights via the offer that best suits their preferences.
“Lufthansa Group has engaged in the development of APIs, for instance supporting the IATA NDC standard, to offer direct access to its offers to customers and distribution partners,” says Markus Binkert, senior vice-president: distribution and revenue management at Lufthansa Group Airlines.
“By integrating these APIs with Winding Tree’s public blockchain, Lufthansa Group enables all innovative partners who develop travel applications to access the offers via a decentralised and intermediate-free travel marketplace.”
To finance the initial development and facilitate acceptance by suppliers, Winding Tree is launching a token sale of its cryptocurrency “Líf” on 1 November. Lufthansa Group is participating in the presale after regulatory clearance from Swiss authorities.
“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,” says Maksim Izmaylov, founder and CEO of Winding Tree.