May 31, 2018: Ground handler Swissport International AG has signed letters of intent with two start-up companies ‘Winding Tree’ and ‘Olam’ to explore the potential of blockchain technology.

Swissport and Winding Tree, a blockchain-based travel distribution platform, aim to jointly explore the potential of distributing Swissport’s existing travel services and new offers. Blockchain will allow any provider to tap into Swissport’s inventory through Winding Tree. While the focus will initially be on distributing classic ancillary travel services to independent travellers, like airport lounge access for example, blockchain can facilitate an efficient distribution of additional services to individuals and corporate clients in the longer term. Swissport will be the platform’s launch partner for ancillary ground travel services.

“Blockchain allows us to reimagine how we work with our partners in the complex aviation and logistics ecosystem,” says Florian Eggenschwiler, who oversees Swissport’s innovation unit. “We expect to see lasting benefits from this technology for fragmented global industries like aviation services and supply chain. It will likely change how service providers, clients and partners will transact with each other. We want to get familiar with such technologies early in the innovation cycle and partner with technology leaders to explore its potential in our business for a variety of use cases.”

And for its cargo handling business, the handler intends to start a pilot phase with Olam, a non-profit foundation, dedicated to developing an open-source platform for supply chain partners. It is studying the benefits of blockchain in order to create platform that will enable these to collaborate in a decentralised, but secure and trust-enabled environment.

Hendrik Leyssens, head of Global Cargo Operations states: “Thinking beyond traditional messaging, blockchain could eventually become the new standard allowing us to overcome the chronic lack of transparency, which is typical for fragmented supply chains. Blockchain could speed up transactions, enhance transaction security and at the same time unlock cost savings.

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