Posted on

Brisbane Airport to Launch In-Terminal Cryptocurrency Payments

Australia’s Brisbane Airport has announced it will roll out cryptocurrency payments within the terminal shopping areas.

The new payment system, provided by cryptocurrency travel firm TravelbyBit, will enable travellers to use bitcoin, ethereum, dash and other digital currencies to shop and dine at various stores and restaurants across both of Brisbane’s air terminals, a press release says.

Roel Hellemons, Brisbane Airport Corporation’s (BAC) general manager of strategic planning and development, said that the airport is the first worldwide to incorporate cryptocurrency payments. The move, he said, “makes sense” because many people who have invested in cryptocurrencies travel internationally.

He continued:

“This is just the beginning for us as we hope to expand the digital currency option across the business.”

According to TravelbyBit CEO Caleb Yeoh, the payment system presents a “genuine use case for cryptocurrencies” in the field of tourism.

“Here at TravelbyBit we are promoting the bitcoin travel movement. Digital currency for world-wide travel. It’s simple, safe and there’s no bank fees,” Yeoh added.

The use of cryptocurrencies to boost tourism and related services is something that global politicians have increasingly being investigating.

In November, the head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism predicted that blockchain technology will transform the country’s tourism industry.

“We are absolutely convinced in our federal agency that blockchain will seriously change the tourism market, although, in our opinion, it will happen not in two years but in 5–10 years,” said Oleg Safonov at the time.

In the U.S., legislators in Hawaii have pushed for the creation of a working group dedicated to blockchain technology, with a focus on tourism payments.

Airport flight board image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

Dnata Taps IBM for Air Cargo Blockchain Pilot

Dnata, provider of air and travel services in the Middle East, has announced the completion of a proof-of-concept examining blockchain’s potential in the Dubai air cargo industry.

The pilot saw participation project partners IBM, Emirates Innovation Lab and Flydubai Cargo, and looked at blockchain’s potential to address issues across various aspects of airfreight, including security and operations, as well as legal aspects, a press release indicates.

The “successful” trial was conducted on a jointly developed logistics platform, utilizing blockchain for supply chain transactions, taking a purchase order from the origin to the final destination.

Stating that blockchain technology and its potential is neither easy to understand or appreciate, Neetan Chopra, senior vice president for IT strategic services at Emirates Group, said:

“It is imperative to carry out such business experiments and trials so that participants can experience the benefits of breakthrough technologies in a live environment.”

The move follows the release of white paper by air transport IT firm SITA’s, detailing the use of smart contracts in the air transport industry. While, Air France is also testing blockchain technology for supply chain tracking.

Air cargo image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

Air New Zealand, Winding Tree Team Up for Blockchain Exploration

Air New Zealand has announced a new partnership with Swiss-based travel firm Winding Tree to explore applications of blockchain technology in the airline’s business.

The arrangement will investigate whether the tech can enable New Zealand’s flag carrier airline to improve the security and efficiency of services that include baggage tracking and ticket booking, a Reuters report says.

According to Avi Golan, chief digital officer for Air New Zealand, the airline is also eyeing blockchain elsewhere, citing use cases such as loyalty programs and distribution.

He stated:

“While we are still exploring its benefits, blockchain may offer a streamlined way to retail airfares and ancillary products alongside our current channels.”

With the partnership, Golan added, the airline can take advantage of quick and safe sharing of information as well as benefit its customers by providing reduced transactional costs.

Air New Zealand has also revealed that it is investing an undisclosed amount in Winding Tree’s token sale (or ICO), scheduled for January 2018.

Notably, Winding Tree announced a different partnership with Lufthansa in October, aimed to develop a blockchain-based travel marketplace powered by a cryptographic token.

The announcement comes as a number of airlines are eyeing blockchain technology for use cases across the industry.

In July, Russian airline S7 revealed it was using the ethereum blockchain for the issue of air tickets, while Air France announced last month that it is exploring the tech to track workflows within its aircraft maintenance systems.

Additionally, earlier this month, air transport IT firm SITA released a white paper detailing how airlines and airports could use smart contracts for shared control of data.

Air New Zealand image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

SITA Investigates Use of Smart Contracts in Air Transport Industry

Multinational air transport IT firm SITA has released a white paper detailing how airlines and airports could use smart contracts for shared control of data.

The paper outlines research carried out by SITA, along with British Airways and Heathrow, Geneva and Miami International airports, into “smart contracts residing on a blockchain.”

In its research on the applicability of the technology for the air transport industry, SITA built a private permissioned blockchain, called FlightChain, that stores flight information and uses smart contracts to judge potentially conflicting data. The work looked at building the system on both ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.

The paper looks at “key lessons” learned regarding governance, system security and system performance, scalability and reliability, it says.

The research also examined the use of both public and private blockchain networks for the air transport industry.

On a concluding note, the SITA paper states that, with blockchain “still early in the technology lifecycle,” its “immaturity” makes it complicated to deploy across air industry networks.

However, FlightChain aims to add more airlines and airports to its trial in the future to get a more complete data set, and plans to identify a business model to fund its operations, the paper said.

Last year SITA developed a proof-of-concept focused on digital identity in partnership with blockchain startup ShoCard, aiming to streamline the airline verification of passenger identities and facilitate real-time data flows at the airport.

Airport image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.