The aviation industry is one of the largest commercialized business sectors across the globe. Despite the size of the commercialized market, the sector is also robust in supporting nations' military and cargo necessities.
Post-COVID, the industry is returning to normal with a definite surge in passenger rates. In FY22 reports submitted by IBEF, Indian airlines and airports expect the domestic passenger rate to be 166.8 million and the international passenger rate to be 22.1 million, which is an increase of 58.5% and 118%, respectively.
With more migrants, it is anticipated that air travel will flourish and become common in the upcoming years. In such conditions, there will be a definite need for quick and effective airline management and software to shorten the time and improve customer experiences.
The ever-evolving airline industry was always quick to adopt modern technology to address current issues. This is where blockchain offers the aviation sector its biggest helping hand. Passenger onboarding is implemented quickly using smart contracts and secured data, boosting the passenger experience.
The Need for Blockchain in Airlines
Multiple managerial processes are involved in the intricate and bustling commercial aviation industry. Various back-end layers of operations, such as verification, payments, and approvals, are involved in transmitting passengers from the point of arrival to the end destination.
Blockchain simplifies these processes and creates several business opportunities in the aviation sector, which concurrently address time-consuming subjects.
Cyber security- As the aviation industry relies totally on the internet for data storage and communications, it is prone to major cyber-attacks. Be it either passenger data or pilot control data, it must be secured to avoid breaches and mid-air attacks. However, with increased attacks, it has become quite vulnerable. Blockchain technology has strengthened the data and cockpit communication protocols through its decentralization and security.
Privacy issues- Researchby Immuniweb stated that among the top 100 airports, 97 failed security tests in 2020, showing the current situation of the aviation industry. Security experts ensure that blockchain can improve privacy protection with digital ledgers and smart contracts.
Air cargo tracking- Cargo tracking through blockchain can be defined as a next-generation tracking mechanism. An estimated value of $400 million will be saved per year with the adoption of blockchain for cargo tracking. Though cargo tracking is available worldwide, blockchain technology helps track it in real-time, forming a stronger network.
Customer experience- As all private data are entrusted to aviation management, security and transparency become a huge part of customer experience. Blockchain and integrated smart contracts not only tighten data security but also simplify the process of onboarding and verification for passengers. These hassle-free practices enhance the customer experience and improve the value chain of the industry.
Benefits Brought to the Passengers
Passengers and their experiences are the greatest assets and trustable elements for any airline business. No airline company with a bad flying experience shines in the limelight. The use of blockchain in the airline industry brings several benefits for passengers that make their airline experience more delightful.
Tokenized ticketing- The foremost task of any passenger traveling by air is buying a ticket. Through tokenized ticketing, which is stored on-chain, several ticketing-related issues can be avoided. As they are stored with encrypted codes, there is no chance of modifying or adding additional data, which solves problems like overbooking or double booking.
Payments- As blockchain relies on smart contracts, which are documents with pre-set rules, it allows automated payments for several use cases like billing, tax rates, and other fees. Even the deployment of monetary rewards from loyalty programs is automatically done, and the points are consecutively maintained.
Identity verification- Blockchain is known for its strong Identity verification mechanisms since the passenger data is stored on-chain. An encrypted verification code makes the procedure simpler than laborious manual document verification. To prevent the possibility of airport or flight attacks, these data are additionally validated using biometrics, making them more trustable.
Airlines that Use Blockchain Technology to Facilitate Air Travel
Though blockchain technology going mainstream in the airline industry might take a few years, several experiments are taking place to simplify the real-world airline boarding process.
International airlines are starting to rely on blockchain technology to make their processes easier. Some airlines that have adopted blockchain technology for real-world use cases are:
Lufthansa- Lufthansa is one of the pioneers in adopting blockchain for airlines. They launched Blockchain for Aviation (BC4A), intending to bring together the potential applications for the industry. Aircraft manufacturers, logistic services, lessors, regulators, and software developers are brought under this umbrella to make blockchain technology more reliable and available for the aviation industry.
British Airways - In order to strengthen security through facial recognition software, British Airways partnered with Zamna, a blockchain-powered data verification platform. This will make the process less manually taxing while reducing the time required for document verifications.
Etihad Airways - Winding Tree Blockchain, which is an Ethereum-based B2B marketplace, collaborated with Etihad Airways to provide logistical support for their distribution system, significantly cutting down the intermediaries.
Other than these top airways and countries using blockchain technology, many blockchain start-ups like Travelx, Zamna, and Air Europa are entering the aviation sectors to reduce intermediaries and provide solutions to the current problems faced by companies and passengers.
The Bottom Line
Slowly and steadily, the airline industry is adopting blockchain technology in several aspects. Though the use of blockchain is in its infancy, the technologies that it is bringing will act as a game-changing factor for the industry.
Many collaborations, initiatives, and research programs have been taking place in the past couple of years to make the aviation industry more blockchain-based.
Within a few years, the use cases and adoption of blockchain in airlines will become a normal protocol across nations, enabling secure and decentralized aviation management.
Get started with Spydra
Spydra is a next-generation API driven Decentralization-as-a-Service platform to enable business and developers to leverage the full potential of Blockchain and the Decentralized Web Infrastructure.