Jan 22, 2019: Lufthansa Group and Lufthansa Innovation Hub have entered into a research alliance with Hopper focused on the subject of artificial intelligence (AI). This is their third technology-related investment within a year, following investments in the other two start-ups Fleet Logistics and cargo.one.

Founded in 2007, Hopper operates one of the world's most innovative travel booking apps. By leveraging powerful machine learning and AI, Hopper's proprietary technology accurately predicts flight and hotel prices and offers its users personalised recommendations at the optimal booking time, as well as alternative travel offers. With this research project in which the Lufthansa Group is making a multi-million-dollar investment, the two companies are establishing a long-term collaboration regarding predictive analytics models and flight-demand forecasting. In addition, the project will utilise AI to learn customers' preferences on a much deeper level in order to provide personalised recommendations about additional services or upgrades.

"With this research alliance, the Lufthansa Group is further expanding its expertise in this area. This will enable us to provide our customers with even better data-driven, tailor-made offers in the future. This is one of the central goals of our digital strategy for this year," explained Christian Langer, VP digital strategy, Lufthansa Group.

Supported by the partnership with the Lufthansa Group, Hopper continues with the technological development of its services. Following the company’s recent US $100 million financing round, Hopper will also continue to grow its global market presence as part of its international expansion efforts.

“We are thrilled to have Lufthansa Group and Lufthansa Innovation Hub as partners in research as we further our expansion into Europe. The combination of local market knowledge and dedication to exploring the upper bounds of AI makes this an ideal partnership for Hopper as we double down on our efforts to bring the best in travel booking to a global audience,” said Frederic Lalonde, CEO of Hopper.

Hopper's European rollout is scheduled to start in mid-2019.

The strategic partnership with the Lufthansa Group was initiated and negotiated by the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, the Group's innovation and digitisation unit. In addition to furthering the development of AI, Hopper will work closely with the Lufthansa Innovation Hub to expand into the European market. The Innovation Hub will provide strategic input on market-specific customer needs as well as access to its network of stakeholders in the European travel and technology space.

“We are delighted to have established a meaningful partnership between the Lufthansa Group and one of the world's most innovative travel tech start-ups,” said Gleb Tritus, MD, Lufthansa Innovation Hub. “In the coming months, we will support the collaboration with the Lufthansa Group’s revenue management and distribution experts. We are also confident that our Berlin team will be able to make a vital contribution to Hopper's European expansion.”

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