Winding Tree, the decentralized travel marketplace powered by Ethereum, has announced a new partnership with American Airlines that will allow select travelers to receive personalized booking options, opening up a potential new application of blockchain technology.

As part of the partnership, America’s largest corporate travel shoppers will be able to access the Winding Trees marketplace to book travel directly and get “unique, cost-effective travel options,” the two companies said. Winding Tree “provides a hassle-free approach” to accommodations for travelers, said Neil Geren, CEO of American Airlines’ digital and distribution division.

Winding Tree said its market supports all types of peer-to-peer connections in the travel and aviation industries. In addition to American Airlines, the market has already entered into a partnership with Air Canada, one of the largest airlines in North America.

American is the largest passenger airline in North America, serving more than 95.3 million passengers in 2020. Passenger traffic reached nearly 215.2 million in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic. In October, America reported third-quarter net income of $169 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, on $9 billion in revenue. Sales were up 20% from the previous quarter.

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Airlines have been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic as governments have blocked their finances and imposed restrictions on domestic and international travel. The pandemic killed more than a billion passengers in 2020, according to Airports Council International. Pedro Anderson, founder of Winding Tree, said the pandemic has brought about a “complete paradigm shift in tourism” with an emphasis on innovation.

In 2020, air transportation technology provider Sita estimated that 59% of airlines had already tried or researched blockchain technology solutions for their back-end operations. Accenture estimates that in 2018, 86% of airlines and defense companies planned to implement blockchain in the foreseeable future.

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