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Air New Zealand partners with Winding Tree to explore blockchain potential

Air New Zealand has announced that it is collaborating with Swiss travel platform Winding Tree, as it explores the potential of using blockchain-based systems within its business.

In its official announcement, Air New Zealand said that it is looking at a number of potential use cases for the distributed ledger technology including cargo and baggage tracking, retail, distribution, and loyalty programme opportunities.

"With its built-in efficiency and security, blockchain has the potential to trigger huge innovation in travel, paving the way for new business models and collaboration,” Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan said. "While we are still exploring its benefits, blockchain may offer a streamlined way to retail airfares and ancillary products alongside our current channels. In removing complexity from the sales chain, customers benefit from reduced transactional costs, and airlines benefit from swift and secure sharing of information.”

Winding Tree is working to develop the world's first blockchain-based travel marketplace to connect suppliers such as airlines and hotels directly to sellers. Founder and CEO Maksim Izmaylov said that Winding Tree is a decentralised alternative to the current travel distribution landscape.

"With a business-to-business marketplace system powering blockchain-based travel booking transactions, startups and companies will be able to gain direct access to travel service providers' offerings,” Izmaylov said.

The announcement comes on the heels of the recent partnership between Winding Tree and German airline Lufthansa.

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