Air NZ Enters Innovation Partnership with Jetblue Technology Ventures

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APEX Insight: JetBlue Technology Ventures, the Silicon Valley-based venture capital subsidiary of JetBlue Airways, has entered its first International Innovation Partnership with Air New Zealand.

JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV) has created the opportunity for International Innovation Partnerships with the aim of building a network to better address changes coming to the travel industry and improve efficiencies within its existing infrastructure.

Together with its first International Innovation Partner, Air New Zealand, JTV hopes to build an internationally recognized technology innovation ecosystem that will seek out, partner with and implement emerging technologies in the travel sector.

Air New Zealand will co-locate an innovation outpost at JTV’s Silicon Valley location, which will provide more opportunities for JTV’s portfolio companies and other startup partners while offering Air New Zealand early access to emerging technologies and to the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem.

“The thinking is that as an airline we can’t go it alone.” – Raj Singh, JetBlue Technology Ventures

“The thinking is that as an airline we can’t go it alone,” explained Managing Director of JTV, Raj Singh, during a video interview at the Future Travel Experience Europe event in Dublin earlier this year. It’s very important to have other providers in the ecosystem – be it ground transportation, hotels, maybe airports, infrastructure generally.

“If we get all of those people working together, looking at the start-ups we’re looking at, seeing what’s out there and jointly implementing these sorts of programs, we think that there’s a great opportunity for the industry as a whole to be more innovative, which is only a good thing for us and for our customers,” Singh continued.

“Air New Zealand has a proud history of product innovation and we’re thrilled to be at the center of the immense commercial and customer experience opportunities emerging from the intersection of technology and travel,” said Christopher Luxon, CEO of Air New Zealand, “We have been growing a terrific ecosystem of global partners as we seek to redefine the future of air travel. Partnering with JetBlue Technology Ventures is an important step in achieving that goal.”

JTV plans to announce further travel and hospitality partners who will join its ecosystem over the coming months.