While the new partnership may make it easier for corporate travelers to book flights while disintermediating incumbents like Amadeus and Sabre, American Airlines still has much more to do in order attract the market it believes will return en masse in 2022.
American Airlines and Swiss travel platform Winding Tree said on Tuesday they have formed a partnership that will enable corporate buyers to access the U.S. airline’s data on flights directly, without the need for intermediaries.
Winding Tree is an Ethereum-based decentralized travel marketplace launched in 2017 that says it aims to make travel cheaper for consumers and more profitable for suppliers.
Travel agents and corporate travel bookers currently get their data on flights and rooms from global distribution systems (GDS) such as Amadeus and Sabre, which employ real-time inventory technology.
Winding Tree’s platform will allow companies like airlines and hotel operators to publish available inventory directly to those customers.
“We’re always looking for innovative ways to give our customers access to American’s content in the way that’s most convenient for them,” said Neil Geurin, managing director for digital and distribution at American.
Through the partnership, Winding Tree will provide a framework for American’s leisure bookings program with corporate buyers. The program will be able to negotiate unique offers directly with American Airlines.
“While marketplace connectivity is generic, Ethereum blockchain ensures that each relationship is unique to the private agreement between seller and buyer which enables personalized content pricing between the two parties,” said Pedro Anderson, chief operating officer and co-founder of Winding Tree.
Alongside a growing list of partners, American Airlines joins Air Canada in leveraging Winding Tree’s decentralized marketplace to deal more directly with buyers.
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Alden Bentley and Dan Grebler)