German airline Hahn Air became the first airline in the world to issue blockchain-based tickets to its passengers. Hahn Air, which is a small-time airline company whose fleet is comprised of only two charter jets, made use of the open-source distributed ledger of Winding Tree to do so.
According to their website, Winding Tree is a decentralized, blockchain-powered distributed ledger that stores data such as inventory content, indexes, and URLs in a distributed database. The platform is already partnered with the likes of Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Siesta Cloud, as well as a number of popular hotel chains such as Airport Hotel Basel, citizenM, and Nordic Choice Hotels, to name a few.
Although the blockchain-based tickets issued to three people including Hahn Air's head of sales engineering and two other executives might be the first of their kind to be accepted by an airline, the airlines is still far from instituting such tickets on a commercial-scale.
Winding Tree, A Promising Blockchain-Powered Platform
Hahn Air, for the most part, is used by travel agents as a ticketing solution, because of its small-sized fleet, while Winding Tree is a non-profit firm that raised investments through an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) to support the creation of its unique contract-based blockchain platform. Winding Tree's platform is reported based on the Ethereum blockchain. As part of its ICO, Winding Tree stunningly managed to raise a little over 16,000 ETH. The value of the Ethereum raised by Winding Tree at that point in time was estimated at a whopping $10 million. However, since the burst of the "crypto bubble" back in January 2018, the value has gone down drastically to just under $3 million.
Hahn Air Doesn't Have Any Immediate Plans To Begin Issuing Blockchain-Based Airline Tickets
Contrary to a lot of reports, however, that claimed Hahn Air accepted cryptocurrency payments in the form of Ethereum and a little known cryptocurrency called Lif, representatives from the German airline company made it clear that they accepted no such payments as of now, and that they only offered their services to other airlines and travel agencies, meaning passengers do not have any direct access to their services. The company confirmed though that they did use the Winding Tree platform to issue blockchain-powered airline tickets as a part of a test.