Air France KLM said today that it is joining forces with a Swiss-based non-profit to strengthen the travel industry with the blockchain.
Founded in 2017, Winding Tree is a blockchain-based, decentralised, open source travel distribution platform. The aim of it is to provide cheaper travel for users, while still being profitable for suppliers.
In an announcement today, Air France KLM said that it will support the startup’s technological developments by testing the blockchain and the providing feedback as it develops. The partnership sees Air France KLM being one of the first airlines to join Winding Tree. The platform has also teamed up with Nordic Choice Hotels so that it can bypass intermediaries such as Expedia and Booking.com.
Speaking of the partnership, Sonia Barrière, EVP Strategy and Innovation at Air France-KLM, said:
“With a long-standing commitment to innovation with start-ups and partners, Air France-KLM is constantly creating the future of travel and devising solutions to make the travel experience easier and more personalized.”
Barrière added that with the blockchain the intention is to revolutionise changes within the travel industry for “customers, companies, and startups.”
Pedro Anderson, founder and CEO of Winding Tree, explained that the partnership with Air France KLM meant that it would be able to use the technology to deliver “real innovation and enhanced customer satisfaction.”
News of this partnership comes at a time when the cryptocurrency market and the blockchain are making headway within the travel sector.
In February, it was reported that StormX, the company behind the popular crypto-earning app Storm Play, had announced that it was allowing its travellers to purchase first class airlines tickets with crypto. At the time, Simon Yu, CEO of StormX, said that this was a “momentous leap forward in merging the worlds of travel and crypto.”
Following on from this, in May, CheapAir.com revealed that it was accepting Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Dash payments for hotel and flight bookings, along with its already accepted Bitcoin. The move comes at a time when crypto holders are searching for new ways to spend their holdings for day-to-day purchases. Back in 2013, the travel agency became the first to accept Bitcoin.
As the crypto market steadily gains traction in the mainstream more people are keen to spend their crypto rather than simply hodling them. And what better way to spend it than through travel?