With a fleet of three aircraft and almost 300 employees, Hahn Air is one of the dwarves in the highly competitive aviation market. This week, the airline is demonstrating that this does not have to be an obstacle, however, but that it can enable major advances that have not yet been achieved by industry giants.
As the company announced in a press release on Monday, 18 November, Hahn Air was the first airline in the world to succeed in transporting passengers with blockchain tickets. The airline received support from the Blockchain start-up Winding Tree.
On the open source platform of the Swiss airline, Blockchain technology was used to handle all steps of ticket management for a flight from Düsseldorf to Luxembourg, from the offer to reservation and payment.
According to the partners, the pilot test proved the numerous advantages of the technology. A transparent data exchange that can be viewed by all parties involved is intended above all to ensure cost savings and security. Blockchain solutions, for example, could outsource middlemen such as travel agencies, booking agencies or websites and thus reduce the organizational effort. Thanks to the decentralized, unchangeable storage of all data, there would be no risk of manipulation.
Frederick Nowotny, Head of Sales Technology at Hahn Air, is convinced of the joint pilot project:
“We are proud to be able to demonstrate our technical ability to issue Hahn Air tickets with blockchain drive. […] Our aim is to investigate the opportunities this technology offers for travel sales, even if its broad acceptance remains a vision for the future.”
Whether and under what conditions the blockchain platform could be used permanently in the future, the company sometimes leaves open.
Meanwhile, suppliers from other sectors of the economy, such as concerts and events, want to rely fully on the technology promises in ticket sales. If, for example, the plans of event giant Shubert Organization are successful, all tickets for New York’s Broadway Musicals could in future be secured with Blockchain technology. This is intended above all to put a stop to counterfeiters.
The aviation industry has Blockchain in its sights
Even in the aviation industry, Hahn Air is by no means the first company to turn its attention to the advantages of the blockchain. The Russian airline S7 has also achieved initial results in the development of these technologies. The airline reportedly managed to sell tickets via Ethereum Blockchains as early as 2017. Together with the oil company Gazprom, the airline published the “Aviation Fuel Smart Contracts (AFSC)” last year. These are intended to help refuel aircraft faster and more efficiently.
According to observers, however, the potential of this technology application is far from exhausted. According to tech consultants Accenture, for example, the blockchain could help airlines with aircraft maintenance, for example, and secure the supply chains for spare parts. In addition, they forecast a broad range of applications for the future of the entire aviation and travel industry.