Singapore Airlines is one of the biggest and most popular international airlines when it comes to Asia. Known for their luxurious aeroplanes and comfortable journeys, Singapore Airlines is about to introduce a blockchain-based loyalty wallet app, which will allow frequent flyers to spend the air miles that they have earned with their retail partners. This technology will be used for the Singapore International Airlines KrisFlyer loyalty program.

As of this writing, details about SIA’s plans are limited. The current expectations are that the SIA will make use of their own, private blockchain system here. All the participating merchants and partners will be a part of this system. Notably, Singapore Airlines is working on this project in partnership with Microsoft - which is one of the biggest backers of the blockchain technology as well as cryptocurrencies. 

Singapore International Airlines has confirmed that a successful test of this application has been run. This proof-of-concept trial was made possible in collaboration with technology partner Microsoft. It was tested at the testing base at KPMG’s Digital Village in Singapore. 

The KrisFlyer digital app is still being worked upon, and the SIA has stated that the app will be out for the members of the loyalty program in the next six months. The wallet will allow the members of the KrisFlyer loyalty program to make use of ‘digital KrisFlyer miles’ for point-of-sale transactions at participating retail merchants.

“Innovation has been a key contributor to the success of Singapore Airlines since Day 1 and we are very excited about this world-first initiative, which will bring even more benefits to members of our KrisFlyer programme,” said Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong.

The aviation sector has been quite open about adopting blockchain and cryptocurrency based technologies. Weeks ago, the Brisbane airport announced its plans to become the world’s first ever cryptocurrency-friendly airport. Earlier this week, Japan’s Peach Aviation has also confirmed that they will soon introduce cryptocurrency based solutions.With Singapore Airlines openly embracing the blockchain technology, it is likely to encourage other airline operators and airports around the world to implement these gen-next solutions and payments services. 

There has been a long-standing debate about blockchains vs cryptocurrencies. Many believe that cryptocurrencies are a distraction. They hold the belief that they are driving us away from the real innovation that the blockchain technology is. This includes a number of wall-street bigwigs and popular financial investors and advisors. 

“This groundbreaking development in which we will be using blockchain technology to ‘digitalise’ KrisFlyer miles is a demonstration of the investment we are making to significantly enhance the digital side of our business for the benefit of our customers. It is in line with our recently unveiled Digital Innovation Blueprint, under which we aim to be the world’s leading digital airline,” the CEO added.