9 Air Travel startups you should be watching

By Hélène Dubos | Trends & Innovation

Feb 19
9 Air Travel startups you should be watching

In recent years, there’s been a huge growth in travel startups, inspired by industry leaders like SkyScanner and AirBnB. Indeed, since 2013 more than $1 billion has been raised in funding for tech companies providing solutions for everything from room booking to price comparison and travel experiences.

Here’s our list of 10 exciting air travel startups doing interesting things in terms of customer experience, journey management or travel data.

1. TripActions – helping airlines manage travel disruption

Business travel can end up costing a lot. Picture a sales employee who is visiting clients in multiple locations in different countries, trying to manage all their flight booking numbers and hotel details stored in their email inbox and other apps. It’s confusing and disorganised and means expenses can mount quickly.

This is where TripActions comes in. The Californian startup provides an end-to-end travel management solution, giving them the tools to book and modify a wide range of travel options in one place and save on those costs. The desktop and mobile application allows them to track travel itineraries, chat with support agents and even charge their expenses, giving them a single place to keep complete control of their business trips.

2. Rocketrip – helping businesses save on travel expenses

Business travel expenses can be a serious drain on company cash. However, New York company Rocketrip aims to save on those costs by incentivizing staff to book cheaper travel – booking economy class rather than business, for instance - and giving them a small reward for saving their employers money too.

3. Timeshifter – goodbye to jet lag

No one is at their best when they’re suffering from jet lag. But by using the Timeshifter app, business travellers can get personalised tips on when to sleep, when they should (and shouldn’t) have a coffee and other tips depending on where they are in the world, their personal body clock and travel plans. And, it’s inspired and endorsed by astronauts!

4. AirBuy – an Amazon for duty free?

Could this new app finally offer the Amazon experience for duty-free? AirBuy is a platform which allows airlines and airports link up their customer offerings to provide passengers with a mobile duty-free store. A passenger can browse a whole range of goods they might be interested in buying in-flight, and pay and order for these before collecting them when they land in their destination airport. The revenue opportunities for airlines and airports are increased, and customers get personalized marketing offers too.

5. Flio – get to know every airport

At some point everyone has found themselves bored and lost in a large international airport. And this is where the mobile app from Flio comes in. The app provides users with real-time information on their flight departure times, as well as lots of information, hints and tips about 5,000 airports around the world, including maps, Wi-Fi access and even discounts and offers at duty-free stores and restaurants.

6. VChain Technology – blockchain powered check-in

SaaS startup VChain aims to make the process of checking into airports much faster using blockchain technology. The company has developed a secure way of sharing information between different siloes which helps automate the process of identifying passengers and helping airlines spot potential threats.

7. Migacore – ever more accurate forecasting

While airlines have long been effective at forecasting demand based on past ticket purchases, they’ve not been so good at processing other kinds of information to help make these decisions. But machine learning company Migacore says they can change that.
The company has developed a complex algorithm that can assess an enormous amount of online content to help estimate where travellers will go in future – using signals from social media, travel review websites and elsewhere. By using more content to help assess where demand for travel will come from, airlines will be able to better price their services.

8. BorderPass – making biometrics happen

There’s been growing interest in the potential for biometrics at border security – and BorderPass is one startup leading the way in this sector. The Malaysian startup allows passengers to register their biometric details prior to travel then quickly and easily walk through border control using this personal data. The company’s technology is currently on trial at one of Kuala Lumpur’s airports.

9. Cape – opening the market for standby tickets

When airlines cannot fill up all their seats they often sell these standby tickets at ultra-low prices – but these are often only made available to airline employees and their families. But a new app named Cape aims to open up this market to travellers who are flexible about when and where they fly – giving them access to hugely discounted tickets when the airline cannot sell those seats. This means fewer empty seats, less waste and happy customers.

An explosion in air travel startups

For both passengers and airlines, the growth in travel startups is a good thing – providing more choice, a better experience and great deals for customers - while also boosting revenue opportunities for airlines and industry players. And we share this focus at Conztanz too, by providing airlines with the tools to offer their customers more – find out more here.