Thursday 6 June 2019 2:46 pm

IAG kickstarts search for best budding aviation start-ups

British Airways owner IAG has launched its latest global accelerator programme for budding aviation startups.

The Hangar 51 programme, launched in collaboration with IAG brands Iberia and Vueling, will be based in Spain this year. It will seek out start ups from around the world who will work with mentors and experts from IAG to help them develop their ideas.

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At the end of the 10-week programme the start-ups will showcase their ideas and developments in front of a senior team at IAG and some of its investors. If they win over the judges, they could snap up millions of pounds worth of investment from IAG’s digital fund.

IAG is looking for applications in the following categories:

  • Airport operations and logistics: smart technologies and robotic processes to optimise performance, safety, efficiency and customer experience
  • Future of customer interaction: wearable devices, self-service technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) to automate passengers’ travel from booking to boarding
  • Disruption management: innovative solutions and travel management tools to support passengers during disruption that affects airlines’ operations such as air traffic control strikes and adverse weather
  • Future cargo logistics: analytics, asset tracking and monitoring tools to optimise cargo operations
  • Sustainability: carbon offset, carbon capture and innovative waste management
  • New products and services: tech solutions and platforms that can offer innovative travel, loyalty and payment options to customers
  • Wildcard: any new disruptive ideas that have the potential to reshape the travel industry

Dupsy Abiola, IAG’s head of global innovation, said: “As one of the world’s largest airline groups, disruptive start-ups can benefit from our size, global exposure and expertise to help drive faster product innovation.

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There are no borders and it’s a fertile ground for start-ups to transform the future of travel. Previous programmes have seen applicants from traditional tech hubs, but we’re keen to also tap into emerging markets such as Latin America, Africa and China.”

Applications for the programme close at midnight on 2 August.