Swissport and Winding Tree prepare for ground control 

Harassed at Heathrow? Fear not. Winding Tree wants to play a leading role in easing and improving the passenger experience through airports worldwide.

In the first major announcement since Winding Tree’s initial coin offering (ICO) in February, the blockchain based travel distribution platform, has signed a letter of intent with Swissport International, a Swiss-based company providing airport ground and cargo handling services in 315 airports in 50 countries and across five continents. Their aim: to jointly explore the potential of distributing existing travel services and new offers via the Winding Tree platform

Winding Tree head of strategy Dave Montali told tnooz:

“This is our first ground-handling firm, and while we are firstly exploring ancillaries such as lounges, in the longer term there are a lot of interesting areas to explore as Swissport has touch points across the whole passenger journey.”

The Swiss firm, which handles 4.7-million tonnes of cargo for around 850 client companies, believes blockchain could provide lasting benefits for fragmented global industries like aviation services and supply chain where transparency is a huge issue.

In a statement, Florian Eggenschwiler, who heads up Swissport’s innovation unit, says:

“It will likely change how service providers, clients and partners transact with each other.”

In other plans for blockchain, Swissport is studying the benefits of the technology for tracking and documentation in its cargo handling business. For this, it plans to pilot an open source platform for supply chain partners with Olam, a not-for-profit foundation. The Swiss firm hopes the platform will enable greater collaboration in a decentralised, but secure and trust-enabled environment, and in doing so speed transactions and cut costs.

Announcements imminent

Prior to Winding Tree’s February ICO, which in total raised $15 million, the firm had signed a handful of big names in travel including Lufthansa, Air New Zealand and Nordic Choice. Since then the firm has been exploring a number of new partnership possibilities and, says Montali, “announcements are always imminent”.

One of the big challenges for blockchain is scalability and acceleration of transaction times is a priority for Winding Tree, says Maksim Ismaylov, CEO, Winding Tree.

More on the company’s 2018 technical roadmap and overview of the architecture can be found on GitHub, a web-based version-control and collaboration platform for software developers.

Since the ICO, the value of Winding Tree’s LIF token has fallen but Montali doesn’t seem overly concerned.

“The whole crypto market has plummeted. ETH was trading at $1100 when we did our ICO, and today it’s $560. Moreover, LIF trading volume is very low, which means that someone can just sell a couple of hundred bucks at a low price to make the price seem low, while in actuality the majority of token holders are not interested in selling their tokens – as one can easily see from both trading volume and the lack of sell orders on the books.”

Photo by David Shares on Unsplash

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Pamela Whitby

About the Writer :: Pamela Whitby

Pamela Whitby is an independent writer, editor and research-led content producer. In the travel space, she writes for and edits, and is a freelance contributor to tnooz. Other areas of expertise include African business, healthcare, IT and renewable energy. She has written for the BBC, Daily Telegraph, the Observer, Economist Intelligence Unit, Investor's Chronicle and News Desk Media and has consulted various organisations on content strategy. She lives in London but has a foot in Africa, where she retains strong connections both personally and professionally.



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