By founding its corporate digitization unit in 2014, the Lufthansa Innovation Hub (LIH), in Berlin, Lufthansa Group pioneered the international airline industry. With the two new locations in Asia, the company is once again leading the way as the first non-Asian airline group to expand its digitization efforts into what is currently the most dynamic market for travel and mobility innovations.
“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. 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. We aim to consistently expand our position as an airline group with the world’s highest level of digitization,” says Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
More than ever before, the Asian startup scene is driving a fundamental technological change along the entire travel and mobility chain. This is reflected in a powerful increase in startup and financing dynamics. Last year alone, 55% (approximately $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, $1 billion) and Hellobike (China, $321 million).
The Lufthansa Innovation Hub Asia was launched on July 1. Experts from the Berlin head-quarters are currently pushing ahead with the development in Singapore and Shenzhen (China). Singapore is particularly important because of its role as a “smart mobility” pioneer. Furthermore, the city-state is an established starting point for tapping into other Asian technological ecosystems. With its own location in Shenzhen, the Lufthansa Innovation Hub has focused strongly on China from the start. Currently, China is the world’s most dynamic ecosystem for travel and mobility innovations.
“Just as in the European technology ecosystem, the development of our Asian sites will be test-driven and iterative. First of all, we need to fully understand the prevailing dynamics, expand our existing local network, and make an genuine impact. On this basis, we can then generate structured insights along the Lufthansa Group value chain, consider specific partnerships and investments, and, ultimately, develop our own solutions tailored to the local markets,” explains Gleb Tritus, Managing Director of the Lufthansa Innovation Hub.
The Lufthansa Innovation Hub was recently named “Best Innovation Lab in Germany” by Capital magazine for the second year in a row. The Lufthansa subsidiary 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.