Anyone who has ever flown with Ryanair before will know that it can be a questionable experience, in the sense that your flight has a high chance of being cancelled at the last minute or it’s been slapped with a huge delay. However, passengers flying from Bordeaux to London Stansted were hit with a rather unexpected five-hour delay. The plane that was due to fly was impounded over a subsidies issue and Ryanair had not paid the fees. Five hours later, Ryanair released the money and the flight could get underway.
If Ryanair was to implement blockchain technology and smart contracts, delays like this – and countless others for that matter – could be totally avoided.
Ticketing issues can cause flights to be delayed indefinitely, a headache many travelers don’t need. If an airline used blockchain to manage the ticketing system, the airline would be able to safeguard against a system failure that means tickets can’t be checked, printed, or scanned.
UEFA is already using a blockchain ticketing system for its football matches, a similar system could be adopted by Ryanair to help cut down issues related to their particular ticketing system – say goodbye to arduous check in procedures.
Managing Ground Handling
Ground handling can cause major issues and delays, but fear not – blockchain can cure these problems as well. Everything from maintenance records to fueling can use blockchain technology to make sure the process runs smoothly. In fact, refueling an aircraft requires a lot of manual input and it can take up to 30 days for a fuel provider to receive the money for the fuel.
By using blockchain technology and smart contracts, this can all be automated and fuel providers can be paid in seconds – similarly to when you fuel up your car. This also means that if one fuel provider goes on strike, airlines can easily get fuel from a different provider at the drop of a hat without the need for arduous contracts. S7 and Gazprom Neft have teamed up to create an aircraft refueling blockchain just like this and it’s proving to be a huge success. It has saved both companies time, money, and risk significantly.
Pilots Using the Latest Tech
Many airlines around the world still require pilots to fill in flight plans and other flight data using a pen and paper. By using blockchain technology, this can all be digitally done and records can be filed within seconds. In addition to this, any issues that occur mid-flight can be logged and seen as soon as the aircraft lands by ground crew – meaning less time is taken to resolve the issue and the plane can be turned around faster than ever.
Aeron has created a blockchain app to do just this, and it’s making the skies a safer place for passengers and pilots alike – not to mention the savings airlines are making by reducing aircraft downtime.
An Airline Ecosystem
Nobody likes paying more than they have to for flights, and with the current centralized systems that are in place, middlemen take a large cut of ticket sales. Air France-KLM has joined the Winding Tree blockchain ecosystem to help cut out the middleman and reduce the cost of flights for passengers. This means fuller flights and more money in the airline’s pockets – just what Michael O’Leary would love to see.
In-Flight Crypto Payments
Who says cash is king on a flight? If Ryanair implements a Lightning Network terminal in every flight, passengers could use their cryptos to pay for food, drinks, and gifts without the need for an internet connection. Fees would be significantly lower than using traditional card payments, meaning prices can be reduced and more people will be inclined to buy from the in-flight menu.
The crypto payments don’t have to stop there either. Ryanair could also begin accepting crypto payments for the tickets it sells for flights thanks to simple payment provider integrations. Coinbase offers a comprehensive crypto payment gateway that lets Ryanair keep the cryptos it receives. If it doesn’t want to hold onto the cryptos and would rather have the cash, BitPay automatically converts crypto to fiat so it won’t need to worry about market volatility – if it ever returns.
Automation of Airport Fees
Every airport a flight lands at, it has to pay fees. If Ryanair decides to implement a blockchain solution with smart contracts to automatically pay these fees as soon as it hooks up to the stand, then issues like 145 passengers say in Bordeaux won’t ever be an issue again. Stellar and Ripple are great contenders if it’s looking into using blockchain for this type of solution, as payments are usually completed within a matter of seconds – meaning there are no unpaid bills.
There are so many more areas that blockchain technology could help Ryanair with to become more profitable and more punctual. Passengers hate delays and cancellations, and blockchain has the power to reduce those risks to minimal levels. Let’s hope the budget airline takes notice of this new technology and attempts to implement it.