IAG partners with Plug and Play to redefine flying experience through startup collaboration

IAG partners with Plug and Play to redefine flying experience through startup collaboration

Published: 11-06-2024 10:59:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 947 | Tags:

International Airlines Group (IAG), has announced a partnership with Plug and Play, the global corporate innovation platform and the most active early-stage Venture Capital investor worldwide, to work together on the eighth edition of the Hangar 51 Accelerator program, in collaboration with their operating companies.

The partnership with Plug and Play includes Plug and Play Mobility, located in the UK, and Plug and Play Travel & Hospitality, located in Vienna, Austria. Hangar 51 is IAG's innovation team and the accelerator is focused on solving valuable business challenges together with the most innovative startups. Startups and scaleups worldwide are invited to apply to join the program, where they can test their technology under operational conditions.

Through the Hangar 51 Accelerator, IAG's innovative approach focuses on addressing key challenges within the industry, including sustainability, operational efficiency, and passenger-centric solutions. IAG is committed to decarbonization and accelerating change towards a more sustainable industry by leveraging sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) solutions and optimizing operational practices to minimize environmental impact.

Through the Hangar 51 Accelerator program, the selected companies will: Work with airlines or operating companies on a proof of value, with the possibility of a commercial contract if successful; gain a deep insight into aviation operations and develop their understanding of aviation customer needs and preferences and benefit from introductions across the Group and the broader industry.

Annalisa Gigante, Head of Innovation, IAG: "We are excited to launch the 2024 edition of the Hangar 51 Accelerator together with Plug and Play. At IAG, we want to generate a positive commercial impact from innovation, and we believe that this makes Hangar 51 different from traditional accelerator programs. This year marks our eighth edition of the Hangar 51 Accelerator, and our ambition is even higher than in the past. By partnering with Plug and Play, we want to work together -as both of us are leading companies in our industries- to attract the most talented startups that can join us in our path to achieve net zero, deliver the best customer experience, and also in our ambition to lead the industry when it comes to innovation."

Plug and Play runs accelerator programs in over 60 locations and across 25 industries worldwide. The joint partnership was first announced at Plug and Play's annual Mobility Expo on May 21, in Birmingham, before being launched to the airline industry at Plug and Play's Travel & Hospitality Expo in Vienna on June 4, 2024; International Airlines Group is now an official partner of both platforms. The Plug and Play Expo in both the UK and Austria are the biggest events of the year, celebrating the many innovation projects and corporate-startup collaborations that have taken place over the previous year. 

Kieran Borret, Director, Plug and Play UK: "We are thrilled to welcome IAG to the UK Mobility Platform, an extension of a truly global network of corporate mobility partners, from Silicon Valley to Tokyo. Here in the UK, we are consciously building a broad network of partners across land, air and sea, and forging connections with adjacent industries, such as energy, infrastructure and technology, which enable them to solve their most pressing business problems. We are also delighted to partner with Plug and Play Travel & Hospitality on this partnership, which highlights the strength of Plug and Play and the cooperation between our offices."

Nik Munaretto, Director, Plug and Play Austria: "By joining our EMEA Travel & Hospitality and UK Mobility programs, IAG sets an example of how open innovation can accelerate technology implementation across a multinational group and move the needle for an entire industry. Aviation is by default an extremely collaborative industry, hence it only makes sense to involve the best startups from around the world to work on solving universal challenges such as drastically cutting CO2 emissions, introducing robotics or elevating the end-to-end passenger experience. We at Plug and Play can't be more proud to work with IAG on those important topics and are excited to welcome its carriers to a truly global ecosystem of industry peers.''

Together with other program partners such as Vienna Airport, Fraport AG, Aeroporti di Roma, JetBlue Ventures, Changi Airport, SkyTeam, and Austrian Airlines, IAG will have the opportunity to engage in a truly open innovation ecosystem sharing best practices, new ideas and technologies.



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