International Airlines Group (“IAG”), the parent company of British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, has announced the names of four tech start-ups that will work with the group to develop new technology solutions for airlines and passengers.
IAG received some 450 applications. 26 applicants were invited to attend a pitch day (video above) and the following four tech start-ups were selected:
Esplorio – An app which allows users to record and share moments from their travels
Resolver – An independent online resolution service helping consumers to raise issues and helping business to be more effective at resolving them
VChain.Tech – A company which uses blockchain technology to help airlines share data safely and securely when passengers take connecting flights
Warwick Analytics – A team of data-scientists who produce automated predictive analytics software.
The successful applicants will be mentored by members of IAG’s senior management team and third parties. They will spend the next ten weeks working at IAG’s offices to develop new ideas for presentation in March.
IAG clearly sees a lot of value in developing new IT solutions. That said, some of its airlines have experienced IT woes over the past year, notably British Airways and the implementation of its “Fly” check-in system which caused delays worldwide last summer. BA also raised eyebrows after outsourcing its in-house team that produced its acclaimed smartphone app – one of few areas of innovation by BA in recent years. Innovation is obviously welcome, but nor should IAG and its airlines forget the basics!