Lufthansa Innovation Hub (LIH) is now expanding into two new locations in Singapore and Shenzen. Lufthansa Group is leading the way as 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,” explains 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. We aim to consistently expand our position as an airlines group with the world’s highest level of digitisation.”
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. Lufthansa Group states that, 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 1 July. Experts from the Berlin headquarters 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, currently being one of the world’s most dynamic ecosystem for travel and mobility innovations.
Gleb Tritus, Managing Director of the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, added: “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 a 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.”