Celebrating 10 Years of InTENtional Innovation at Lufthansa Innovation Hub​
This year marks the 10th anniversary of our mission to lead the future of travel and aviation — and we’re just getting started. Innovation is set on the Corporate Agenda, and we are inTENtionally driving it with focus, ambition, and purpose.

We dedicate our 10th year to sharing our learnings, beliefs, and expertise, deep-diving into the past, present and future, celebrating this milestone with our colleagues, partners, friends, and everyone who believes in us and our mission. Join us to lead the future of travel and aviation.
A message from our Managing Director
Xavier Lagardère expresses his gratitude and extends his congratulations to Lufthansa Innovation Hub on its anniversary.

How it all started

Lufthansa Innovation Hub started as a project in September 2014, with five Lufthansa Group employees and four external members. The goal: to detect trends and customer needs earlier and develop corresponding new services.

Our first office

Located in an Airbnb that used to be a castle in Kreuzberg. Fun fact: Initially, the Frankfurt colleagues also lived there during the week.

Enabling the cooperation between start-ups and Lufthansa Group

We established a cooperation database on our website where start-ups could enter their ideas for collaboration with Lufthansa Group. After two and a half moths, more than 60 start-ups had registered.

Becoming an independent GmbH

After the first 3 months, we consolidated the “project” into an independent GmbH (limited liability company). Lufthansa Innovation Hub GmbH was born.

Eleven new prototypes

We launched 11 prototypes in DACH, England and South Korea to leverage existing and new business areas such as, among others: automated compensation of refund claims, curated destination information from Lufthansa employees and playful selection of flights.

Launch of the Open API platform

With the collaboration of Lufthansa Passage IT, the Open API platform developer.lufthansa.com was launched, with more than 400 developers involved, and more than 3.5 Mio. API calls generated. Today this continues to be successfully in open use.

Increase in visitors on our new website

lh-innovationhub.com had more than 30,000 visits from all over the world.

Customer acquisition for Lufthansa Group

10,000 new customers were acquired for Lufthansa Group, which equals 67 fully seated Lufthansa A320-200 aircraft.

Six new prototypes

We kicked off 6 new prototypes in the business areas luggage, travel insurance, weekend trips, new pricing models, visa assistance and digital compensation.

Launch of AirlineCheckins.com

AirlineCheckins.com was an automated check-in assistant that checked in travelers worldwide for flights with more than 200 different airlines. Customers could enter booking details for an upcoming flight and were automatically checked in once the check-in period began. This project was discontinued at the end of 2020.

Launch of LINEA

LINEA digitized the compensation process in the event of luggage delays or damage. Affected customers received a push notification and a link which they could use to immediately select a compensation method (cash, Amazon voucher, Blacklane, etc). This project was discontinued in 2018.

Launch of Mission Control

Mission Control was a digital 24/7 travel assistant for business travelers that worked entirely via short chat messages. For a monthly fee, it completed various travel-related tasks: flight, train, or car rental reservations, organizing conference rooms, and accounting for travel expenses. This project was discontinued in 2017.

Plug and Play in Silicon Valley

We visited one of the leading accelerator and startup investors in Silicon Valley, together with Lufthansa Group Senior Management. We connected startups with relevant Lufthansa divisions.

New office space

We moved into a larger office space on Rosenthaler Straße: a bright office inviting creativity, featuring an open space area, a shared kitchen, and a beautiful backyard terrace.

Lufthansa Group Innovator Award

Category: "Dare to try” for AirlineCheckins.com

Lufthansa Group Innovator Award

Category: “Continuous Digital Change” for self-compensation solution CompChoice

Corporate Startup Award

Category: “Best Corporate Startup” for Mission Control

We turned green

We officially brand LIH as green. Green becomes the color of innovation at Lufthansa Group. We want to stand out from the crowd and want to achieve this with a digital-only colour.

Winding Tree blockchain investment

Lufthansa Group invested in blockchain through a partnership with Winding Tree. The Lufthansa Innovation Hub played an important role in establishing this partnership.

Launch of Flightpass

In collaboration with Eurowings and SWISS, we tested a pass valid for 10 flights. After successful validation, it was introduced as a temporary offering by SWISS. Travelers could purchase a pack of 10 one-way tickets with SWISS and use them flexibly on flights to or from Geneva within the validity period. This project has been evolving and transformed into new ones that will be announced very soon.

Launch of Difftrip

Difftrip was a search engine for weekend trips that did away with regular search parameters. Instead of entering travel dates and destinations, travelers entered the things that mattered most to them while on vacation. Based on this information, Difftrip made suggestions for weekend trips, including flights. The tool allowed travelers to discover unexpected and affordable getaways. This project was discontinued in 2017.

Launch of Bite

Bite was a temporary, customizable, context-specific travel insurance. With Bite, travelers did not purchase comprehensive insurance packages. Instead, with a few clicks, they could create just the right amount of insurance needed for their upcoming trips. Laptop? Yes. Cancellation? No. Accident? Yes. Customers only paid for what was really required. This project was discontinued in 2018.

Lufthansa Open API: fares & availabilities

We allowed developers to access Lufthansa Group’s valuable data world in a standardized and controlled manner. Flight fares & availabilities have been available through the API since February 2017. 

Cargo-tech investment

We supported Lufthansa Cargo with a venture capital investment in the US-based logistics startup Fleet Logistics, the first ever for Lufthansa Group. We screened 2,623 cargo-tech startups and successfully closed the investment in less than 14 weeks.

Digital Leader Award

Category: “Create Impact” for Lufthansa Open API

Corporate Startup Award

Category: “Best Corporate Startup” for AirlineCheckins.com

Germany’s Best Innovation Lab Award

By business magazine Capital

Launch of the TNMT newsletter

In March 2018, we launched the TNMT newsletter, our industry deep dive into Travel and Mobility Tech. Every two weeks, we share our analyses of the most important developments, startups, and trends in the travel and mobility sector with Lufthansa Group and the broader ecosystem.

Launch of RYDES (now NAVIT)

NAVIT gives companies the opportunity to provide their employees with a mobility budget. This budget can be used for various means of transport, from public transport to car and bike sharing, as well as e-scooters and cab services. It is also possible to invest in fuel and charging cards, as well as the Deutschlandticket.

Taxi-sharing at Munich Airport

We brought taxi-sharing to Munich Airport through a partnership between mytaximatch, Lufthansa Group, and Munich Airport. Airport guests could share trips to the city. It was the first time a German airport made this possible. Lufthansa introduced an innovative mobility option to the airport and linked it seamlessly with travelers' flights.

World’s 1st aviation blockchain challenge

Together with SAP, we launched the world's first aviation blockchain challenge, with 312 submissions from 56 countries and 9 finalists pitch in Frankfurt. The winners were 500 labs, Sweetbridge and 14bis Supply Tracking.

Partnership with Hopper

Together with Lufthansa Group, we made a million-dollar investment in a partnership with Hopper, the specialist in price forecasting. This marked the start of a research alliance focused on predictive analytics models and flight-demand forecasting. Lufthansa Innovation Hub supported Hopper's European rollout in 2019.

Launch of the AirlineCheckins app

We launched the AirlineCheckins app for iOS and Android, reaching the 80k user mark. Check-in status, flights, and personal details could be managed transparently in the mobile app. An alert function informed users about flight status and gate changes. This project was discontinued in 2020.

Spin-off of Yilu

Together with Lufthansa Group, we spun off a startup for the first time. The vision was to consolidate all travel and mobility players on one platform, making them technologically compatible for any travel company.

Defining our key capabilities

During the team offsite in 2018, we decided to implement dynamic capabilities that would cover different aspects of innovation for the Lufthansa Group. These capabilities are Strategic Intelligence, New Business and Transformation. This last one was newly created to build innovation into LHG teams’ DNA and unlock tomorrow’s opportunities.

Germany’s Best Innovation Lab Award

By business magazine Capital

Changemaker challenge 2019

As part of the Innovation Forum, we organized a challenge in which we partnered with three big travel, mobility and tech players: Expedia Group, Uber & Google. Altogether, we received more than 150 change-making ideas and only 6 finalists made it to the pitch event (from Netherlands, Germany, Spain and USA).

Opening our Singapore office

With Asia increasingly spearheading our ecosystem, in February 2019 we opened our first office in Singapore. In 2019, 50% of the Travel and Mobility Tech unicorns were based in Asia.

 Launch of Compensaid

Compensaid provides an opportunity for customers of the Lufthansa Group to offset the carbon emissions generated by their flights through the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The launch of the Compensaid venture by the Lufthansa Innovation Hub established the groundwork for CO2-neutral flights within the Lufthansa Group.

Digital LAC Concept

We presented the concept of a digital Lufthansa Aviation Center to the Senior Management of Lufthansa Group, including innovative solutions for the digitization of the LAC, such as a digital Garden, a data-driven boardroom and a new digital check-in process. Since then, a new check-in solution was implemented to improve the old analogue process for employees and guests.

The eVTOL Community

We initiated the Lufthansa Group eVTOL Community to overarchingly address the upcoming aviation space. We drove collaboration between Lilium, Volocopter, LAT, LHInd, LHT, etc. After Covid, it came back as the Future of Flying Community. Regular meet ups took place in Berlin, Frankfurt, and other relevant hubs.

Launch of neu.Travel

neu.Travel was a travel management tool for unmanaged business travelers. The intuitive, simple and efficient booking tool for SMEs included modules such as employer attractivness, bleisure travel and well-being. This project was finally not validated.

Lufthansa Group Innovator Award

Category: “Jury’s Favorite” for Compensaid

Germany’s Best Innovation Lab Award

By business magazine Capital

From “Project Ocean” to Eurowings Discover

LIH became part of an ambitious project team focused on establishing a new airline known as Eurowings Discover. Alongside contributing knowledge and ideas in the realm of digital business models and customer-centric services, following the principles of a 'Minimum Viable Product' (MVP) approach, the LIH made a substantial contribution.

FlightVoucher portal

The disruption to flight schedules caused by Covid-19 led to the cancellation of a large numbers of flights as well as customers opting to postpone their travels. LIH rapidly developed the Lufthansa FlightVoucher, a portal to allow customers to exchange their air ticket for a flight value voucher through an easy and intuitive self-service solution.

#StrongerTogetherLHG Community

In 2020, with the challenges that Covid-19 brought, we initiated an internal social community with +3500 members from 58 Lufthansa Group business units to connect and foster a sense of belonging during the pandemic. There were groups covering education, volunteering and common interests.

Lufthansa Travel Regulations

The dynamic Covid-19 situations led to constantly changing local travel and immigration regulations. Relevant information was released across several sources making it hard for travelers to get a comprehensive overview. To consolidate all relevant travel, safety and health information on one single website, we developed Lufthansa Travel Regulations. Customers were offered a reliable source of information to support their travel planning. The service was available for customers of Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines.

"The State of Travel and Mobility Tech in Asia"

"The State of Travel and Mobility Tech in Asia" was the first major research piece compiled by our Asia team in Singapore. It takes an in-depth look at the dynamics of our industry in Asia. Across 45 pages, the report highlights the major trends in the Asian Travel and Mobility Tech sector, from its early days to the game-changing year of 2020.

Launch of the Lufthansa Group Innovation Community

We started an Innovation Community to foster learning and collaboration. Here, all Lufthansa Group employees can discover and share bold thinking, new ideas and mindsets, digital tools, innovation and learning methods.

Launch of Discount Pass

In collaboration with Miles & More, we launched the Discount Pass. The Discoutn Pass offered Miles & More customers 10% and 20% discounts on flights with Lufthansa Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Swiss, Air Dolomiti oder Edelweiss. This exclusive pass was valid for 12 months. The offer was limited to a total of 3,000 passes.

NAVAN investment

Facilitated by Lufthansa Innovation Hub, Lufthansa Group acquired a minority stake in the business travel innovator. Navan is a fast-growing corporate travel management platform using AI and Machine Learning technologies to provide a user-friendly mobile customer experience and personalized servicing to businesses and their employees.

Launch of SQUAKE

We launched SQUAKE, the CO2 compensation platform for the travel, mobility, and transport industry. Using an API, companies can easily calculate and offset the CO2 emissions of their services.

Launch of Reveneo

We launched Reveneo, a software solution for innovative pricing models in the aviation industry. This solution gave revenue management teams more pricing flexibility and at the same time opened up new ways to measurably increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. This project has evolved and transformed into new projects that will be announced very soon.

Spin-off of RYDES (now NAVIT)

In February, we spun off NAVIT. Forward31, the company builder of Porsche Digital, and the Lufthansa Group were involved in the startup from the beginning as strategic minority shareholders. NAVIT gives companies the opportunity to provide their employees with a mobility budget. The mobility budget can be used for various means of transport, from public transport to car and bike sharing to e-scooters and cab services. It is also possible to invest in fuel and charging cards and the Deutschlandticket.

Spin-off of SQUAKE

In December, we spun off SQUAKE. Along with the Lufthansa Group, the fledgling company scored two other investors: The venture capital investor of Commerzbank, main incubator, and BackBone Ventures from Switzerland. SQUAKE offers companies in the travel and logistics sectors the opportunity to better meet their carbon reduction targets by providing accurate carbon calculations and connecting them with established compensation partners worldwide.

Launch of Compensaid for Business

We enabled business customers of Lufthansa Group to fly more sustainably by integrating Compensaid into 6 Lufthansa Group airlines.

Launch of Modifly

Together with TUI and Discover Airlines we launched Modifly, a digital platform for flight-related additional services. Modifly offers passengers who book their trip with a tour operator the possibility to purchase flight-related ancillaries, such as the desired seat reservation, additional baggage or an upgrade.

Kick-off of Green Mobility Trainee Program

In cooperation with Daimler Truck, DB Schenker, Lufthansa Cargo, onomotion, and time:matters, we launched the Green Mobility Trainee program in which we still participate today. The program aims to develop solutions for a more sustainable aviation and thus actively shaping the future of Lufthansa Group.

"Are Air Taxis Ready For Prime Time?"

Our report "Are Air Taxis Ready For Prime Time?" is an investigation into the status quo of the air taxi market. The study looks at the topic from different perspectives to provide a holistic view and analyses four categories: Global Media, Venture Capital, Academic Research and Patent Landscape. The report had more than 7,500 downloads.

Premiere of the “Digital Innovation Ascent”

We kicked-off our flagship leadership training on digital innovation for mid-level management at Lufthansa Group. The training is usually conducted in groups of up to 20 people and consists of two elements: the Base Camp, a 6-week hybrid learning journey, and the High Camps, deep dive modules of up to 1 day.

Germany’s Best Innovation Lab Award

By business magazine Capital – Top 3

Launch of Global Spaces

In spring 2022, we launched Lufthansa Global Spaces. The online booking platform offered more than 185,000 hot desks, private offices, meeting and hotel rooms to remote workers, business travelers or small teams looking to work and collaborate effectively at Lufthansa destinations. Global Spaces was meant to tackle a lack of work-related infrastructure at their respective destinations, a fragmented and inconsistent booking experience and inflexible cost structures (i.e, monthly subscriptions). This project was finally not validated.

New company narrative

Our communication and leadership teams developed a new company narrative that represents our ambition to take travel to new destinations, to places where we have not been before. It explains how we build traveler-centric solutions for the future, in a market where multiple dynamics are shaking up travel behaviours and trends.

Cargobase investment

We joined the growth financing round of Cargobase. The vision of Cargobase is to simplify freight logistics. To realize that vision, they have developed a transportation management software (TMS) that offers transportation and freight services around the world.

Refocusing culture at CityLine

Our Transformation team supported Lufthansa CityLine in a 100-day sprint for their cultural transformation, laying the foundation for a future-ready organization. We co-designed a renewed purpose and corporate values with the managing director and over 120 CityLine leaders and employees through interviews, more than 15 workshops, and surveys. As a result of our work, a compelling narrative linking culture to business objectives was communicated to all CityLiners and broadly embedded across all channels.

"The Travel and Mobility Tech Sector Attractiveness Report"

“The Travel and Mobility Tech Sector Attractiveness Report” sheds light on changing innovation dynamics in the travel and mobility tech landscape after the pandemic-related disruptions and the inflation impact.

Doubling our headcount

In 2022 we onboarded a total of 33 new colleagues from diverse backgrounds and nationalities, enriching our team's global perspective and innovation expertise.

Moved into new offices in Berlin & Singapore

With a growing team, we needed new spaces that could fit our teams needs.

Innovation Thesis: "The Great Inversion"

We published our innovation thesis “The Great Inversion”. Here we summarize the several transformations the travel industry is going through. We deep dive into 5 key areas: Diversified Asset Competition, Communities Define Demand, From Transactional to Relational, Ubiquitous Travel and Blurred Travel.

Launch of cloopio

In the spring of 2023, we launched cloopio. The B2B digital booking platform enables companies to book offsites for their employees with just a few clicks. During the process, they can choose from various offsite packages. These include services such as transfers, accommodation, meeting rooms with equipment, as well as catering and team-building activities.

Launch of Uptrip

In collaboration with Miles & More, we launched Uptrip. At the core of the Uptrip App is the integration of Web3 technologies and gamification elements into the loyalty program. Uptrip allows passengers to scan their boarding pass and exchange it for NFT collectible cards, which they can store in their own crypto wallets. These collectible cards can be combined into various collections. Complete collections can be redeemed for rewards, such as airport lounge access, flight upgrades, or status and bonus miles.

Launch of Swifty

Swifty is the first autonomous AI assistant in the business travel industry. Swifty transforms the time-consuming and fragmented business travel booking process into a fast and efficient experience. It autonomously manages essential steps of business travel, encompassing planning, booking, payment, and invoicing, all within the native chat interface.

Compensaid Green Fares

Since February 2023, Compensaid has been fully integrated into the Lufthansa Group. Lufthansa Group’s airlines proudly stand as the world's first airline group to offer green fares. The introduction of 'Green Fares' allows for more sustainable travel with just a single click, as these new fares already include the offsetting of CO2 emissions associated with the flight.

10X Night in Berlin

We hosted our first 10X Night in our Berlin office. The motto behind it: think big, think bold, ask yourself what would be the utmost possible when it comes to the future of our industry. We had an interesting panel discussion on The Future of Travel & Mobility with executive speakers from Miles, GetYourGuide, Omio and FREENOW.

Launch of neXus

neXus collects content on the topic of innovation on a digital platform available to all Lufthansa Group employees. On neXus, they can find content for inspiration and learning purposes, as well as for applying what they have learned. This includes various formats such as videos, podcasts, articles, events, methods, toolkits, and workshops.

The Asia Speaker Series

To bridge the gap between Lufthansa Group employees and the broader Asian Travel and Mobility Tech Ecosystem, our Singapore office initiated “The Asia Speaker Series”. They invited thought leaders to share their industry insights on a variety of topics, including super apps, VC, and the Web3 landscape in Asia. Broadcasted globally via webcast, the series aims to pique interest in Asian consumer behaviors and tech applications.

Roll-out of Modifly

After a successful pilot with Discover Airlines and TUI, Modifly was rolled out to Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, Lufthansa and leading European tour operators were onboarded, such as Sunweb, Corendon, vTours, Tomorrowland, Gebco, Kuoni, among others.

TNMT Happy Hour

Following the success of the ‘10X’ night in Berlin, our Singapore office hosted the first Asia ecosystem event, the ‘TNMT Happy Hour.’ With over 30 attendees from VCs, startups, corporates, and innovation units, this event marked the beginning of a vibrant community of innovators in Asia, fostering collaboration and idea exchange.

A new deep dive into passenger frustration with airlines

We analysed 15,000+ airline reviews that revealed what bothers travelers the most in the post-pandemic travel era. Showcasing how irlines struggle with the largest experience to expectation gap, this one was one of the top 10 most reach pieces on TNMT.com.

The intersection of ChatGPT and map-based interfaces

In June 2023, our Strategic Intelligence Team published the report "All great journeys start with a map." In this report, we explore the intersection of ChatGPT and map-based interfaces in transforming the future of how we plan and experience travel.

LIH Roadshow in Shanghai

Recognizing China’s pivotal role in the travel tech industry, we organized a roadshow in Shanghai. The event included an ideation session for Lufthansa Group’s China management and partnership scoping with major tech players like Sensetime, Bytedance, Xiaohongshu, and Orbit Accelerator. This initiative underscored our commitment to integrating with China’s dynamic tech ecosystem.

Conscious Festival Partnership in Singapore

In collaboration with Lufthansa Group in Singapore, our Asia team secured the “Exclusive Airline Partner” spot at The Conscious Festival, a premier Asian sustainability event. Targeting the 25-35 age segment, we showcased Lufthansa Group’s sustainable projects, aligning with our goal to address the needs and values of younger consumers.

Lufthansa crew recruiting

Towards the end of 2023, Lufthansa needed to recruit many more flight attendants to secure the summer 2024 flying schedule. With limited funds, we aimed for maximum impact and quickly delivered MVPs with maximum effectiveness. The result was a new crew website that went from ideation to go-live in just two weeks. Thanks to offline and online marketing, we reached more than 80,000 households and built a pipeline of new recruits.

Germany’s Innovation Lab Award

Category: “Infrastructure and Transport” – Top 3

How are we inTENtional?

InTENtionally Berlin

Vera, Director People and Organization
We intentionally chose Berlin as our home base because, 10 years ago, it was the place to be for all digital companies in Germany. Our previous offices had the cozy vibe of a shared flat. However, as we grew significantly, we adapted our environment accordingly. Our spacious, bright office on Brunnenstraße now reflects our professionalization and growth.

InTENtionally Green

Magda, Senior Brand Designer
A lot of people ask us why we are green. Of course we want to stick out. But another reason is that our signature green is a digital color only. This means that it can’t be printed. We decided to go with a digital color, because we’re a digital first company. This means that we focus on digital business models.

InTENtionally Asia

Joyce, Senior Partnerships Manager
Asia is one of the most promising regions in the travel sector. In 2019, we opened our office in Singapore with the purpose of understanding the specifics of the Asian travel and mobility tech ecosystem by systematically focussing on trend & market research and building local partnerships.
Future Forward
The landscape of the travel industry is changing – due to new technologies and competitors, constantly evolving consumer needs, and market dynamics. Our mission remains to identify these shifts and translate them into new business opportunities in the travel sector.

We are guided by our ambition to take travel to new destinations. We recognize that travel is about connecting and exploring and will always remain a universal and transformative experience.

To take travel to new destinations, we push ourselves, the Lufthansa Group, and the industry to make travel easier, more convenient, and more enjoyable. We are committed to exploring the boundaries of what is possible.

The Lufthansa Innovation Hub ensures the Lufthansa Group successfully navigates this dynamic environment. We scan the horizon for promising market opportunities and lay the groundwork for these opportunities to thrive.

Will you join us on this journey? Let’s together lead the future of travel and aviation.