Blockchain Technology Enters the Aviation Arena with Lufthansa & SAPs ‘Aviation Blockchain Challenge’

In order to utilize blockchain technology in the field of aviation, Lufthansa, one of the world’s leading aviation service has partnered up with SAP, a German-based European multinational software corporation, in order to launch a global competition named “Aviation Blockchain Challenge“, that will make the incorporation of blockchain technology in the aviation industry possible.

By combining our aviation industry expertise with the blockchain technology of a world market leader, we are creating the ideal worldwide framework for addressing blockchain entrepreneurs with an affinity for travel and mobility. Thorsten Dirks – Board Member Lufthansa Group

In this challenge, innovators from around the world will be given a chance to pitch their ideas about the utilization of blockchain technology in the field of aviation.This challenge is one of its kind and it is the world’s first aviation challenge incorporating blockchain technology. Lufthansa aims at utilizing this technology in three major departments namely, supply chain, internal data processing and flight reservation or purchasing.

Many services around the world have started implying their first-use cases when it comes to the blockchain technology, but much still remains to be explored when it comes to travel and airline services. Talking about the tremendous incremental growth of blockchain technology, Gleb Tritus, the managing director of Lufthansa Innovation Hub, said;

While many industries have found their first-use cases, the impact on the aviation sector is not noticeable yet. We want to change that together with SAP and see substantial potential in our industry to utilize blockchain and other plays of decentralized networks.

The entire process consists of three major phases, submission of ideas, shortlisting and final pitching. The final deadline for the submission of innovative ideas in the challenge is August 31st, 2018, and the global platform for pitching of ideas will be set in October, later this year in Germany. Startups from all around the world are invoked to participate in this competition, even if their startup is not in its developed stages. Early stage startups are strongly encouraged to submit their ideas, because generally speaking, an idea is an idea, any stage of its further implementation does not define or guarantee its viability and ingeniousness.

The main purpose of this competition is to provide exposure and a viable platform for all blockchain startups across the world to make their ideas a reality, ultimately benefiting Lufthansa Group in the long run, a win-win situation for both. Startups, whose ideas will be ‘groundbreaking’, as said by Gleb Tritus, will then be enabled to launch a pilot project employing SAP’s blockchain-as-a-service platform. This platform provides enterprises from across the world with a framework to build various kind of business applications on top of the blockchain system. Talking about this pilot project employing SAP’s services, Gleb stated:

First of all, we are looking for a great variety of inspiring and groundbreaking blockchain ideas across the whole aviation value chain. It is crucial to “filter the noise” and to find the right starting point where blockchain can deliver clear value. The rest is up to a pilot project that we certainly would love to facilitate together with SAP.

The major reason behind Lufthansa’s partnership with SAP is the utilization of its blockchain-as-a-service platform in its workflow pipeline. When asked about the expectations from this partnership, Gleb Tritus stated:

To put it simply, we believe that the partnership of two multinational industry leaders with a strong R&D and innovation culture delivers the best possible framework to attract relevant talent on a global scale. We can give them all the support and in the next step trustworthiness they need in order to take their blockchain project to a relevant level.

From SAP’s point of view, the Chief Strategy Officer and Executive-Vice President of SAP, Deepak Krishnamurthy stated:

SAP is excited to partner with Lufthansa on this startup innovation challenge to reinvent the traveler experience, airline operations, and supply chain with blockchain. With our industry-leading SAP Leonardo Blockchain capabilities and Lufthansa’s market leadership and expertise in aviation, we can foster a new innovation ecosystem that can potentially transform the entire travel industry.

In order to incentivize various startups from across the world, a plethora of rewards have also been promised in this competition which include the coverage of travel expenses, professional mentoring by high-qualified professional leaders of the field, an opportunity to launch a pilot project in collaboration with Lufthansa Group, a state-of-the-art office space for the winners in Berlin and last but not the least, an access to SAP’s groundbreaking and stable blockchain platform for the implementation and deployment of ideas.

Besides this, Lufthansa has also been employing a Swiss ethereum-based blockchain startup, Winding Tree, from October of 2017, in order to distribute and incorporate the travelers reservation and itinerary information on a stable and state-of-the-art blockchain network. Lufthansa is incorporating its API’s in Winding Tree platform, and the startup will provide the incorporation and testing of blockchain based travel apps in Lufthansa’s workflow.

Applications for this competitions are open on the official Blockchain Aviation Challenge website. This competition not only opens up a window for blockchain deployment in the aviation industry but further heralds the dawn of the usage of blockchain technology in other various aspects of daily life. Industry after industry, blockchain is continuing to spread like a virus and it is undoubtedly the technology of the future. Without the need of a centralized platform to connect all the participating parties, this technology expands the horizon of possibilities far beyond our imagination. While this was the first use case when it comes aviation industry, major other industries have already expanded their radar range to incorporate the technology. This might be the initial news that involves incorporation of blockchain technology in aviation industry, stay tuned as more such industries follow suit.

Ahsan Khalid

Blockchain Developer. An Electrical Engineer with majors in software development. I present forward my insight regarding the latest happenings of the blockchain world. All views on my articles are my own. Email: or

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