The Lufthansa Group has introduced an innovation hub in Singapore, on the back of Asia’s potential as a growing digital travel market.
With the launch of the hub on July 1, the group says it is now the first non-Asian airline group to expand its digitisation efforts into the region.
“Not only are the Asian markets showing particularly dynamic growth in our core businesses, but they are now often also leading the way in digital travel and mobility solutions,” commented Carsten Spohr, chairman of the executive board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
“With the new locations of the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, we want to learn from the developments in Asia, build specific partnerships in the digital context and benefit from our experience.”
The new digitisation unit is aimed at generating structured insights along the Lufthansa Group value chain, building concrete partnerships and investments, and ultimately developing in-house solutions tailored to local markets.
Experts from the Berlin team are currently working on local network expansion, targeted scouting and partnership initiation.
In addition to the Singapore office, the Lufthansa Innovation Hub is opening a new unit in Shenzhen (China) to stay current with the special status of China’s technological ecosystem.
Moreover, Lufthansa said in a statement that the Asian startup scene is now more than ever, driving a technological change along the entire travel and mobility chain.
This is reflected in a strong increase in startup and financing dynamics. Last year alone, 55 per cent (approximately US$14 billion) of global venture capital invested in travel and mobility tech went to China. There was also an increase in mega-financing rounds, most recently Grab (Singapore, US$1 billion) and Hellobike (China, US$321 million), Lufthansa pointed out.
“Singapore is a hotbed for innovation particularly in the context of urban mobility,” remarked Gleb Tritus, managing director of the Lufthansa Innovation Hub. “Today, we can already see how inner-city mobility will function, be distributed, and consumed in the future. In addition to having some of the most exciting mobility startups, acclaimed local research institutes in the sector are also joining forces.”
Launched in 2014, Lufthansa Innovation Hub is the corporate digitisation subsidiary of the airline group. It works with a team of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and corporate aviation experts on new digital business models, partnerships and strategic investments along the entire travel and mobility chain.