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Singapore Airlines intends to incorporate blockchain technology into the loyalty program for its frequent flyers. In about six months, passengers will be able to use a digital wallet application to monetize their accumulated miles. The app will be part of the current KrisFlyer loyalty program and will work initially with retail partners in the local market.

Speaking at the Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit, Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong said:

“I think we are the first airline to do it.”

The company explained in a press release that the wallet application would allow clients to convert their accumulated KrisFlyer miles into spending at retail partners.

As Goh put it, the move will benefit KrisFlyer program members and is part of the broader Digital Innovation Blueprint - a long-term plan that would help Singapore Airlines become the world’s top digital airline.

 “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,” Goh said.

The company revealed in January that it would spend “hundreds of millions” of dollars on digital technology. As part of its strategic plan, it announced a partnership with government agencies, including the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and the Economic Development Board (EDB).

“Today, we're showing just how serious we are with our vision, which is to be the leading digital airline in the world through our comprehensive digital innovation blueprint,” Goh stated during the launch.

South Asia’s largest flag carrier is not the only airline exploring blockchain. In October, Germany’s Lufthansa partnered with and invested in Swiss-based blockchain firm Winding Tree to build apps for different services.

In November, Winding Tree teamed up with Air New Zealand to explore the technology for various functions, such as booking, baggage tracking, and loyalty programs.