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A distributed ledger of secure, verified data for air travel booking and ticketing to provide greater visibility across the airline ecosystem.

Context & Challenges

Powering the commercial airline industry is a complex global network of software systems, which exchange data regarding ticket sales, pricing changes, reservations, cancellations, airplane maintenance reports, and payment settlements to different travel agents, websites, and airlines all over the world. When it comes to sharing critical business data across different industry actors, companies need to move fast and with accuracy. But with so many software systems, exchanging data smoothly can be challenging.

Between traditional and online travel agents, as well as airline websites, customers have a number of options when booking airline travel. Most portals rely on a centralized platform of data to properly assess passenger reservations, update prices, and record payments. These systems however are based on decades-old technology and are prone to delays and security risks for both passengers and airlines.

 Manual Change Management: Whether due to inclement weather or incomplete data, ticket transactions may need to be updated and reservations may need to be changed. For now, software has been reliant on separate centralized databases to manage inventory and transaction settlements. This makes tracking ticket purchases, updating information, applying discounts, and identifying incomplete transactions time consuming and inefficient.

 Rigid Ticketing Options: Due to the limitations of the current system, airlines have difficulty connecting directly to customers, missing a valuable opportunity for point-of-sale service discounts and travel bundles. Whether a customer is just purchasing a single one-way flight, bundling a round-trip, hotel, or renting a car, these transactions require verification and reconciliation by airlines.

 Unpredictable Loyalty: Airlines have always leveraged creative means to form a closer relationship with customers. Miles-based loyalty programs present a strong incentive for customers to travel with a particular airlines consistently. While convenient for customers, loyalty programs present a risk to airlines. Miles represent a balance sheet liability which can be difficult to manage and account for due to the unpredictability of their application.

 Inconsistent Maintenance Records: The average airplane life cycle is 30 years, passing between an average of five to six owners before being decommissioned. Currently there is no fully automated way for engineers, manufacturers, vendors, and airlines to track a specific airplane’s lifecycle through data. Records passing through different countries take on a variety of different forms, including paper-based records with no verification or trusted source. This makes airlines liable for safety concerns and open to risk.

Industry players verify, track, & share data and process transactions more efficiently on STRATO Mercata.

Solution & Outcome

By building a distributed ledger of verified data, airlines, agents, and other industry players gain greater visibility to secure data like ticket information, loyalty services, aircraft maintenance records, and payment/settlement records.

With STRATO Mercata, data from various sources is verified and tracked automatically. Blockchain smart contracts allow travel businesses the ability to directly connect with customers, securely exchange and store traveler data, and process transactions with greater efficiently.

 Improved Data Management: Blockchain enables airlines to improve their data process by automatically updating their inventory settlements through smart contracts. From managing ticket prices to issuing boarding passes and tracking luggage, airlines can utilize blockchain’s distributed ledger to maintain accurate travel records for every passengers end-to-end journey.

 Better Loyalty Programs: Using STRATO Mercata to allow limited exchangeability of miles (perhaps across alliances like the Star Alliance) allows airlines to manage the risk associated with miles while retaining positive impacts on customer loyalty.

 Clear Maintenance Records: With IoT implementation, blockchain applications can track airplane parts and maintenance records for airline fleets. Both third-party vendors and an airline’s own maintenance crew can utilize and update the distributed ledger when checking repaired parts, tracking leases, and monitoring fuel consumption — providing a valuable, immutable single source of truth.

✓  Better Customer Insight: With a STRATO Mercata application, vendors, partners, airlines, and travel agents are able to trust a single source of data, ensuring accuracy, enabling faster transactions, and reducing fees for both customers and airlines. This gives airlines the ability to target customers directly, bundling services and additional travel options without relying on third-party aggregators.