EL AL Israel Airlines wins first place for aviation and travel innovation hub titled "Cockpit'

EL AL Israel Airlines team with award
As Israel is often known as “The Startup Nation,” EL AL Israel Airlines has introduced “Cockpit,” a state-of-the-art digital program for supporting and accelerating startups in the fields of aviation and travel. The trendsetting program won first prize this week in an international competition held by the Airline Passengers Experience Association (APEX) in the prestigious category, “Best Achievement in Passenger Experience 2015.” .

This award is considered to be the Oscars of the aviation industry. More than 100 of the world’s leading airlines submitted entries in this category and four companies made it to the finals.

In an effort to stay ahead of global aviation trends, EL AL Israel Airlines launched the “Cockpit” program to create an opportunity for entrepreneurs to tap into the knowledge and ideas of aviation and travel startups. The program offers access to EL AL resources and international network to build and support innovative concepts. Global startups to advanced companies, having the latest technological innovations in the early stages, are encouraged to apply through a rigorous submission process.

“The Cockpit program was launched this summer and is already receiving international recognition. We’re proud to have won this important prize and be among the world’s top airlines that are working to create innovation for the benefit of the passenger experience,” said EL AL CEO, David Maimon.

With the ability to pilot ideas and introduce their product to EL AL customers and partners, select startups will benefit from comprehensive support including:
• Access to EL AL systems for development and integration of a Beta site platform
• Initial funding
• Mentoring and counseling in all areas of expertise including marketing, advertising, engineering, service and technology
• Exposure as well as access to local and worldwide markets as well as strategic partners • Opportunity to have EL AL Israel Airlines as a customer

To provide further benefits to these startups, EL AL has partnered with the Microsoft Ventures accelerator to offer additional advantages including access to technological platforms, mentoring, office space and information sharing.

“This prize marks the overwhelming support of the global aviation industry in Cockpit’s way, an innovation hub for groundbreaking technologies improving the world of aviation tourism,” stated Henry Chen Weinstein, CEO, Cockpit.

Since its inception earlier this year, several startups are already active members of the program. For example, BidFlyer is an advanced public sales platform, which can be integrated into an airline’s system and provide a new channel for ticket sales at attractive prices. Another participating startup is ShopnFly, which allows travelers to search for and compare duty-free prices, purchase a range of goods at every stage of their journey, and collect the products they have ordered at airport stores, on the aircraft or at their hotel. “Cockpit” continues to form strategic collaborations with additional partners.

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