German's largest airlines, Lufthansa, is investing into an ICO pre-sale and teaming up with a Swiss startup on bookings on Ethereum.
One of Europe's leading airlines, Lufthansa, will be buying into an ICOs and teaming up with a startup on bookings on the blockchain. Winding Tree, a Swiss-based startup, is building a marketplace on the ethereum blockchain to connect businesses and suppliers. The deal between was announced today. Together with Lufthansa Group, the pair is exploring a decentralized booking platform.
The two companies met through Lufthansa's Innovation Hub. Both firms view this collaboration as an overall win-win. Lufthansa hopes to bring on board its expertise in customer experience from the airline industry while benefiting from Winding Trees blockchain development.
CEO of Winding Tree, Maksim Izmaylov shared their intentions to help the German airline build and deploy blockchain- powered travel apps on that align with the industry's standards. Lufthansa will provide Maksim's development team with access to APIs.
Markus Binkert, Senior Vice President Distribution & Revenue Management Lufthansa Group Airlines explained the goal of API integrations via press release:
"By integrating these APIs with Winding Tree's public blockchain, Lufthansa Group enables all innovative partners who develop cutting-edge travel applications to access these offers via a decentralized and intermediate-free travel marketplace."
The largest German airline is exploring customer service applications on the blockchain including bookings, and itinerary travel information. Lufthansa is on the forefront of exploring use cases for the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies for its aviation business. The scalability and efficiency of blockchains are features it can explore both customer service and aircraft maintenance. Last year, the firm launched a Blockchain for Aviation (BC4A) initiative aimed at evaluating innovative technology for flight maintenance.
Lufthansa Buys into Pre-Sale ICO
Winding Tree is in the process of launching an initial coin offering (ICO) to fund development. As part of their commitment to this partnership, Lufthansa will finance part of the token sale at the ICO pre-sale stage. Investors will receive native ‘Lif' cryptocurrency in exchange for their contributions.
More startups are turning to ICOs for capital, the latest cryptocurrency crowdfunding craze. Typically, investors make contributions via cryptocurrency and receive issued tokens representing some form of right or utility. But in more recent times, the model has opened up avenues for Hedge funds and private investors to participate at a pre-ICO stage.
Lufthansa's buy-in to Winding Tree's pre-sale is likely to contribute regular currency. Regulatory warnings on ICO funding have picked up over the course of the last few months. It is becoming harder for startups to skirt rules on securities laws.
The LIF crypto token will have utility on the marketplace. Businesses and suppliers will settle payments and transfer of data relating to accommodation, flights, and cruises on the blockchain using Lif.
Dr. Christian Langer, Chief Digital Officer of Lufthansa Group, said: "To us, Winding Tree is a strong candidate to turn today's understanding of distribution upside down."
Air New Zealand will fly daily to Houston for most of next winter as demand for travel between New Zealand and Texas continues to soar.
Air New Zealand currently operates five services per week to Houston year-round. From 25 March to 27 October 2018 it will increase to a mix of daily services and six services per week, a capacity increase of 16,000 seats on the route over this period.
The airline will deploy its newly configured 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on Auckland-Houston from December 2017, the first time the Dreamliner will regularly service one of Air New Zealand’s North American routes.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace says the airline has steadily grown its Houston operations since it commenced services there in 2015 and it’s fantastic to see strong demand from both ends of the route.
“A strategic gateway into America’s south, Houston is unlocking huge demand for travel to New Zealand from across the South, Mid-west and Mid-Atlantic regions, with annual visitor arrivals up 21 percent from Texas and 25 percent from New York.
“As a transit hub, Houston also offers Kiwi travellers better onward connections to popular East Coast destinations like New York, Boston and Miami.”
The newly configurated 787 offers more premium seating for customers, with 27 Business Premier seats – up from 18 on the existing Air New Zealand Dreamliner, and 33 Premium Economy seats, up from 21. Air New Zealand also offers its popular Economy Skycouch™ alongside the Premium Economy and Business Premier options on services to Houston.
Air New Zealand recently launched its global marketing campaign A Better Way to Fly in North America, using a CGI kiwi named Pete in a bid to convince more Americans and Canadians to travel with the airline to New Zealand and Australia.
| An Air New Zealand release || October 11, 2017 |||
The first of Air New Zealand’s new-look Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners has touched down in Auckland, with a freshly configured interior offering more premium seating options for customers.
The airline has refreshed the cabin configuration for its next four Dreamliner deliveries in response to growing demand for premium travel, increasing the number of Business Premier seats from 18 to 27 and Premium Economy seats from 21 to 33.
Air New Zealand Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Mike Tod says the airline is expecting the new cabin layout to be popular with customers.
“Since we introduced the Dreamliner, we have seen strong customer demand for our award-winning Business Premier and Premium Economy cabins and the products and service that come with these. Increasing the size of these cabins on our new 787-9 Dreamliners will give more customers than ever the opportunity to experience why Air New Zealand has been named by Airlineratings.com as the best airline in the world for the past four years,” Mr Tod says.
Mr Tod says the team at Boeing has been excellent to work with during the design process.
“They share our vision of taking comfort in the sky to the next level for more people and have supported Air New Zealand as we set a new benchmark for 787-9 Dreamliner travel,” he says.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific & India Sales Dinesh Keskar, says the manufacturer has enjoyed the opportunity to work with the 787-9 Dreamliner launch customer on this reconfiguration of the aircraft.
“Since the launch of the 787-9 Dreamliner, Boeing and Air New Zealand have partnered together to bring a new level of capability and comfort to passengers around the world. With the delivery of its tenth 787-9 Dreamliner – and its newly refreshed interior – Air New Zealand is once again demonstrating its commitment to taking the customer experience to the next level,” Dr Keskar says.
Air New Zealand was the first airline in the world to take delivery of the revolutionary 787-9 aircraft in 2014 and this latest arrival takes the airline’s fleet to 10 Dreamliners. The delivery is also the airline’s first from Boeing’s facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The fleet has performed well to date, delivering good fuel efficiencies with each aircraft 20 percent more efficient than the aircraft they have replaced.
The latest aircraft, with the tail number ZK-NZL arrived in Auckland just before 7pm last night, Sunday 8 October (local time).
Air New Zealand’s newest aircraft is currently scheduled to enter service on Sunday 15 October, operating a service to Sydney.
It will be deployed onto the Auckland–Houston route in December 2017, the first time a Dreamliner will regularly service one of the airline’s North American routes.
| An Air New Zealand release || October 09, 2017 |||
New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines David Strachan expects stronger ties between his country and Cebu as the two parties further explore opportunities in trade, tourism and education.
At a time when the people-to-people links between New Zealand and the Philippines are burgeoning, Strachan led an 11-strong New Zealand delegation to Cebu to look into potential areas of collaboration.
“We continue to strengthen our ties and explore partnerships that would be beneficial for Cebu and New Zealand,” he said in a roundtable discussion with local media at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel last Friday.
According to Strachan, 80 percent of New Zealand exporters are small and medium enterprises who could be the right match for Cebu-based entrepreneurs.
He said New Zealand is exploring potential investments on food and beverage, wood processing and furniture as well as information technology innovations.
Hernando Banal, the New Zealand trade commissioner, said they see a sustained entry of investments particularly into the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.
Aside from the BPO sector, he said New Zealand is also looking for collaborative projects in renewable energy, especially since the country is known for geothermal power sources.
Banal said the bilateral trade of the Philippines and New Zealand has been growing, registering $1 billion in trade value in the last five years, making the Philippines the 15th largest export destination for New Zealand.
He added that Philippine companies are also investing in firms in New Zealand, particularly those involved in food and food processing.
New Zealand boasts of a large Filipino community, with more than one percent or about 6,000 of the country’s population being Filipinos and making it the fastest growing Asian community there.
Steven Dixon, Tourism New Zealand regional manager, meanwhile, said more Filipinos now see New Zealand as a travel destination.
They expect more Filipinos to travel to New Zealand as Philippines Airlines is set to launch a non-stop service between Manila and Auckland starting December.
“This decision by PAL would inject greater momentum into the fast growing two-way tourist flows,” he said.
Around 28,000 New Zealanders travel from New Zealand to the Philippines while 23,000 Filipinos travel to New Zealand every year, mostly for business, incentives, as well as visiting family and friends.
Education New Zealand Regional Director John Laxon, for his part, said Cebu is becoming a promising education market for New Zealand.
He said that more than 1,000 students have registered for the New Zealand Education Fair hosted by Golden Summit Immigration Consultancy held at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel last Oct. 7.
“Filipinos pursuing their education in New Zealand are learning from some of the best education institutions in the world. They earn degrees that are internationally recognized. This gives them an advantage in pursuing their careers in the Philippines or elsewhere around the world,” Laxon said.
More than 4,000 Filipino students study in New Zealand, making the Philippines the fifth largest sources of international students worldwide.
Year to date, the number of Filipino students choosing to study in New Zealand universities has risen by 35 percent in 2017 compared to the same period last year.
The popular degree programs among Filipinos, Laxon said, are those related to management and commerce as well as health studies, animation, cyber security and ICT.
A³ by Airbus is serious about getting Transpose in the air. Technical reviews are ongoing with Airbus cabin and structural engineering, and engagement continues with the likes of the FAA and EASA.
The idea of reconfigurable aircraft cabins has been around for a while and although some in the air transport industry still refuse to entertain the notion that they could become reality in the near to medium term, others are making big strides forward.
Jason Chua, Project Executive at A³ by Airbus Group, is among the latter and at FTE Global 2017 in Las Vegas earlier this month he revealed all about the “Transpose” project, which is based around the development of a modular aircraft interior.
Essentially, Transpose allows airlines to offer a broad range of experiences on board a single aircraft – for instance, cafés, spas, gyms and children’s play areas can be included in the in-flight offer. Furthermore, at the end of a flight, each of these “modules” can be easily swapped in and out, offering airlines flexibility like never before.
| A Future Travel Experience release || September 28, 2017 |||
Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee is encouraging all New Zealanders in, and travelling to Bali to register with Safe Travel.
“Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Authority has raised the volcanic alert level for Mount Agung to level four, the highest level on their scale,” Mr Brownlee says.
“Bali is a popular holiday destination for New Zealanders, and I encourage Kiwis living or travelling to Bali to register with SafeTravel.
“Registered New Zealanders will receive updated advice and information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the event the situation deteriorates.
“Residents and tourists have been warned to stay at least 12 kilometres from the volcano’s crater.
“There are evacuation orders in place for those within that area due to the potential for an eruption.
“In the event of volcanic ash clouds, New Zealanders travelling to or from Bali are advised to confirm their travel arrangements with their airline or travel agent directly, prior to travelling to the airport,” Mr Brownlee says.
SafeTravel launched in 2006 and is the official source of advice for New Zealanders living or travelling overseas.
There are currently 386 New Zealanders registered as being in Bali.
You can register with SafeTravel here and for further information, view SafeTravel’s Facebook page and Mount Agung advice.
Air New Zealand has announced it will continue to operate its seasonal non-stop service to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, following strong customer demand.
For its 2018 season, the airline will operate two direct services a week between Auckland and Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesdays and Saturdays, using its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. This will be the third consecutive year of Vietnam operations.
Air New Zealand Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace says there has been a huge appetite for travel to Vietnam by Kiwis since the airline introduced a direct seasonal service to Ho Chi Minh City from Auckland in 2016.
“It’s been fantastic to see so many travellers enthusiastic about Ho Chi Minh as a destination as it’s a great gateway to Vietnam’s tourism experience. Demand for travel to Vietnam has been particularly strong in the July school holidays,” Mr Wallace says.
“Vietnam is one of the most affordable destinations for Kiwis and offers a memorable experience whether you are flying solo, as a couple, a family or a group of friends. It’s not surprising to us that it is starting to become a popular hot spot on the holiday calendar.”
Air New Zealand’s 2018 Vietnam season will operate between 23 June and 23 October.
| An Air New Zealand release || September 25, 2017 |||
Changi Airport’s new Terminal 4 is scheduled to commence operations on 31 October. With the final set of checks and reviews now being undertaken, FTE explores how self-service and biometric technology is being used to create a seamless passenger experience.
Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) Technology is at the heart of the new Terminal 4, which will be the first terminal at Changi Airport to offer end-to-end Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) for departing passengers.
The implementation of FAST across the terminal means that at all passenger touch-points – from check-in and bag drop to immigration and boarding – self-service and biometric technology will help to provide passengers with a seamless and intuitive experience.
At the point of check-in passengers will be able to use self-service kiosks to print their own boarding passes and bag tags. They can then drop their bags at an automated bag drop machine after their identity has been verified. At immigration, passengers will be able to scan their own passport, boarding pass and fingerprint to facilitate the necessary identity checks. The automated immigration gates also use facial recognition technology to authenticate the passengers’ identity.
This self-service immigration function is available to passengers who are at least six years old and who are Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, Long Term Pass holders or visitors whose fingerprints are registered with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.eMeanwhile, at the boarding gate, technology has also been implemented. Passengers who have used the automated immigration gate can simply scan their boarding pass at the boarding gate and authenticate their identity with the facial recognition system.
Centralised security screening, featuring CT technology Passengers will be able to keep their laptops and tablets in their bags thanks to the use of computed tomography technology at the Terminal 4 centralised security screening checkpoint.
New technology is also being used at the security checkpoint. The centralised security screening in T4 uses computed tomography (CT) technology so passengers can keep their laptops and tablets in their bags. An automated tray return system and multiple divestment points will also help to optimise efficiency and keep waiting times down.
Although Terminal 4 is just half the size of Terminal 3, thanks in a large part to the effective use of technology the new facility will have a capacity of 16 million passengers a year, which is two-thirds that of T3.
Dubai: Emirates has had to change its ultra-long-haul flight from New Zealand to Dubai following a fuel shortage that has impacted a number of airlines flying to and from Auckland Airport.
In a statement sent to Gulf News on Tuesday, the UAE-based carrier confirmed that Emirates flight EK449 will now make a stopover in Melbourne to re-fuel, instead of flying direct to Dubai. Route change
The route change is in effect between September 18 and September 24.
“[The flight] operating from Auckland to Dubai between 18-24 September, will stop in Melbourne for refueling due to the Auckland Airport fuel shortage which has affected most international airlines,” an Emirates spokesperson said.
Passengers affected, however, will not have to disembark in the Australian city.
“Customers holding tickets with onward connections during this time are advised to contact their local Emirates office and check the status of their flight. Connecting flights will be rebooked as required,” the spokesperson added.
The airline launched its first non-stop service between Dubai and Auckland, considered to be one of the world’s longest scheduled flights, in March 2016.
The non-stop journey had an estimated flight time of 17 hours, 15 minutes from New Zealand to Dubai and just under 16 hours from Dubai to New Zealand. Related Links
Thousands stranded due to jet fuel shortage New Zealand’s fuel shortage hits more flights Nepal fuel shortage disrupts Gulf flights
Thousands of flyers have had their trips disrupted due to a fuel shortage caused by a damaged pipeline that brings fuel to Auckland.
The damage, which was discovered last Thursday, has prompted oil companies to ration the amount of fuel they are supplying to airlines operating out of Auckland.
“We are working with the airlines operating out of Auckland to minimize the impact on passengers. We are doing all we can to help people manage through this period of disruption,” Auckland airport said in its public advisory.
As of Tuesday, the fuel shortage caused the cancellation of 28 flights, six of them international, according to Reuters.
Air New Zealand is continuing to experience disruption to its operations following a temporary shut-down of Refining New Zealand’s pipeline into Auckland.
The shut-down is currently impacting all airlines operating into and out of Auckland Airport and limiting the volume of jet fuel able to be uplifted to 30% of normal usage. It’s estimated around 2,000 Air New Zealand customers will be affected by flight cancellations today as the airline works to consolidate passenger loads and minimise fuel usage.
In addition to the cancellations, some long-haul services to and from Asia and North America will undertake refueling stops at selected Pacific or Australian airports. To date, three North America services have refueled in Nadi, Fiji. Today flight NZ99 from Auckland to Narita, Tokyo will make a refueling stop in Brisbane, Australia.
he airline is also ensuring domestic jet services uplift maximum fuel limits when operating out of Wellington or Christchurch to limit refueling in Auckland.
Air New Zealand Chief Operations Integrity & Standards Officer Captain David Morgan says the refueling stops completed overnight went well and the practice will continue to alleviate pressure on fuel supplies in Auckland.
“Aviation is a critical transport industry and the lifeblood for tourism and we are naturally extremely disappointed with this infrastructure failure,” Captain Morgan says.
Based on information available at this stage, Air New Zealand believes the fuel supply issue is unlikely to have a material impact on the FY18 annual result.
Any necessary schedule changes are being communicated to affected customers directly. A full list of flight cancellations is available on the Air New Zealand Travel Alerts page and will be updated regularly.
The following flights have been cancelled for today, Monday 18 September:
NZ722 – Melbourne to Auckland NZ543 – Auckland to Christchurch NZ550 – Christchurch to Auckland NZ413 – Auckland to Wellington NZ420 – Wellington to Auckland NZ437 – Auckland to Wellington NZ444 – Wellington to Auckland
Customers currently booked to travel into or out of Auckland over the coming week are advised to keep an eye on the Travel Alerts page of the Air New Zealand website for the latest information.