Hahn Air – Air Travel’s Hidden Champion
From travel agents to corporations, Hahn Air is taking the headaches out of flight admin.
Hahn Air is the market leader in airline distribution, providing ticketing services to travel agents and distribution solutions to airlines. The company partners with over 350 airlines, making its network the largest in the world. Since it was founded just over 20 years ago, the company has made itself the hidden champion of the travel world. Its latest solution is now simplifying travel management processes for businesses running their own corporate shuttle flights.
Hahn Air’s latest solution is the HR-Shuttle Manager, a valuable tool for corporations which run corporate flights to shuttle employees between company locations, such as production sites or subsidiaries. By providing a complete package including the management, handling and distribution of company flights, Hahn Air allows these corporations to outsource their corporate shuttle business.
“Usually, for technical reasons, corporate shuttle flights cannot be embedded into the corporate travel programme and are therefore separate entities. As a consequence, these flights have to be managed separately, causing additional complexity, labour, and cost,” explains Phillip Collings, Director of Corporate Sales for Hahn Air. “Our product, HR-Shuttle Manager is a one-stop-solution that allows the corporate shuttle flights to be embedded in the standard travel management systems and processes. It saves time, money and resources, eliminates complexity and risk, and ensures full compliance. In addition, it provides added convenience for the corporate travellers as they can now enjoy amenities that are normally reserved for regular scheduled flights, such as seat maps, wait listing and online check-in.”
While this solution has obvious appeal, corporations might be afraid that this would mean ending the longstanding relationships they have with their travel management companies (TMCs). However, as Kimberley Long, Vice President Agency Distribution for Hahn Air points out, “The good news is that our solution does not require to terminate this relationship, but it seamlessly integrates with the corporate travel management processes. Even better, our solution makes work processes, booking procedures and reporting easier for the TMC partner. We also maintain close relationships with TMCs and know the importance of trust and reliability when it comes to business relationships. Benefitting the TMC is another asset of our solution.”
A Small Airline – A Giant in Airline Distribution
Known for its distribution services for airlines and ticketing services for travel agents, Hahn Air is for the first time presenting a product that is not initially targeting travel sellers or air carriers. With its latest offering, the company presents a solution for corporations running their own shuttle flights as well as for suppliers such as TMCs or air brokers who are providing matching services.
“With our expertise in air travel systems and processes and our experience with the requirements from the airlines’ as well as the bookers’ side, we are the natural choice to offer this solution,” explains Alexander Proschka, Executive Vice President Commercial for Hahn Air.
“Throughout the past 20 years, we developed an expertise for simplifying distribution processes as well as for implementing and streamlining distribution systems. Our track record speaks for itself: Our network today encompasses more than 350 airlines of any business model, from small regional carriers to large international carriers. In fact, our partner portfolio covers 40% of airline seat capacity worldwide. Our solutions enable these airlines to sell their flights through 100,000 travel agencies in 190 markets,” explains Proschka. “While these solutions are directed at airlines and travel agents only, travellers still enjoy many advantages because of our solutions. They can book countless additional routes and carriers via their travel agency or online travel platform that would not be available to them without Hahn Air. You can say that millions of people travel each year holding a Hahn Air ticket and are unaware that we facilitated their flight.”
Hahn Air has positioned itself to enable travel, connecting travel agents and airlines to make flights and payment options available to passengers that otherwise would not be possible. With a global reach and over 20 years’ experience, it is a strong and reliable partner for airlines and travel agents.
“Through Hahn Air, we have gained access to new markets and a new source of incremental revenue,” says Bryan Koh, Divisional Vice President of E-Commerce and Distribution for Singapore Airlines.
Anatomy of a Global Travel Solution
There is no denying Hahn Air’s reach today, but the company has surprisingly humble origins. In 1999, Hahn Air was a small airline operating regional flights in Germany. Then it teamed up with a tour operator and entered the ticketing business. With this one step, Hahn Air opened the door to a unique idea that would allow airlines to expand the distribution reach for their tickets.
“The innovative start-up carried the name of the airline, Hahn Air, and started with four employees. It rapidly grew to become the leading company for airline distribution services,” Proschka tells us.
Today, the company has over 220 employees, partners with over 350 airlines and more than 100,000 travel agencies in 190 markets. But it has been a long journey.
“The biggest challenge we faced was developing our unique business idea from a small, regional solution to a global distribution asset available to travel agents worldwide through the global systems they use to book and sell travel,” Proschka points out.
Hahn Air was able to develop its proposition thanks to the combined expertise of its founding companies.
“The tour operator brought expertise in selling travel, the airline contributed know-how of aviation processes and systems as well as a passion for aviation,” Proschka recalls. “Brought together, this was the perfect foundation to grow from a small start-up into a market-leading distribution giant in airline distribution. Along the way, we were fortunate to have a brilliant team of experts, many of whom are still with us and have been with Hahn Air for a long time already. We managed to build an excellent reputation and gained the trust of our business partners.”
The company’s story also demonstrates its innovative mindset, as the first company to introduce free insolvency protection for all Hahn Air tickets. The add-on service called Securtix guarantees passengers a refund if a flight is cancelled due to the bankruptcy of the operating partner carrier. Since the introduction of Securtix in 2010, more than 40 million insolvency-safe Hahn Air tickets have been issued.
In 2012, Hahn Air introduced a solution that allowed airlines to completely outsource their indirect distribution to Hahn Air. In 2019, Hahn Air was the first airline to issue air tickets using blockchain-powered technology.
That innovative mindset is also visible in Hahn Air’s latest offering, the HR-Shuttle Manager. Collings concludes “No company running corporate shuttle flights can afford to go without it as there are absolutely no risks and only benefits.”
Alexander Proschka Phillip Collings
Executive Vice President Commercial & Director of Corporate Sales for Hahn Air