Airlines transferring funds via blockchain? Turns out this is not a far-fetched, future vision. It is reality today thanks to a cryptocurrency known as the IATA Coin.
Just six months ago United Airlines introduced a not-quite-Basic Economy fare option for transatlantic travels. Next week the company will complete the transition, formally rebranding the offering as Basic Economy. NOt surprisingly, the new version is even more restrictive than before.
Airlines want to invest in emerging technologies. They want access to the startups and to foster those relationships. This is the message delivered around the world as investment funds, incubators and accelerators sprout up. Many of these programs claim success and continue to grow. For Qantas, however, the message is different. Its dedicated venture group dissolved in recent weeks and the accelerator shuttered.
A major airline commits to blockchain as a distribution avenue. That’s the story being spun about Air Canada’s deal with Winding Tree. And, to some extent it is accurate. But one key point remains relatively muted in the reporting: Air Canada really is not doing anything with blockchain.
Canadian upstart Swoop, the ULCC arm of WestJet, aims to succeed as an airline mostly by not really acting like an airline. Sure, there are airplanes and pilots and such, but CEO Steven Greenway is adamant that change come quickly. And he’s keen to dramatically upset the North American aviation market along the way.
Stopovers arguably built the Icelandic tourism economy and its position in the North Atlantic aviation market. But are such programs a guaranteed success? More and more airlines are trying, often with outsized expectations and limited success. Here are a few examples of such…
Looking to get far away from England this winter but don’t want to break the bank on flights? Lufthansa Group airlines Lufthansa, Austrian and Swiss launched their Anyway Travel Pass promotion this week, offering a discounted means to a guaranteed flight on your desired date of travel, so long as you don’t care too much about the departure time or which of the three carriers you’re flying on. The deal applies for departures from London-Heathrow (LHR), Birmingham (BHX) and Manchester (MAN) with 14 destinations available starting at £139 each way including all taxes.
Informed passengers truly can affect the airline industry. Today’s example comes at American Airlines, where carry-on bags will soon be included in the carrier’s Basic Economy fares, owing to a better educated consumer and websites that help them suss out the difference.
How can global alliances increase their relevance to member airlines? Better data sharing is good but enabling ancillary sales on top of that is great. SkyTeam’s SkyLink Digital Spine delivers that new connectivity and sales opportunity.
Fares are going up across the Pond. All three major alliance JVs now offer some sort of Basic Economy for transatlantic travel. The Star Alliance A++ group launched its version this week, with sales starting 5 June 2018. No checked bag, no changes and no upgrades are the main limits, though there is more nuance in the details.