Russian oil firm Gazprom Neft's aviation subsidiary, Gazpromneft-Aero, announced Monday that it has completed a successful pilot of its blockchain-based refueling project, Smart Fuel.
The new platform was implemented for more than 100 scheduled flights of Russian budget airline Smartavia, operating at Murmansk's international airport. Alongside Smartavia, the pilot involved major banks VTB and Raiffeisenbank.
Dmitry Makarov, head of the Smart Fuel project, told Cointelegraph that the blockchain-based trial in Murmansk ran from September 2020 to December 2020. Following the successful pilot, Gazpromneft-Aero will continue providing its refueling payment solution to Smartavia, Makarov said.
Based on the major blockchain framework Hyperledger Fabric, the new tool uses smart contracts to automate and accelerate refueling payment processing times. The system is capable of processing refueling payments in a matter of seconds, while traditional payment transactions usually take up to four or five days, Gazpromneft-Aero said.
Makarov explained that the traditional process for refueling payments is paperwork-heavy and involves excessive spending. “Since it’s impossible to forecast the exact volume of fuel needed for a flight, airlines need to transfer an excessive amount of funds to fuel operators to make sure there’s enough to cover the refueling,” he said. The new tool guarantees data safety and maximum transparency for all the participants in a transaction, Makarov stated.
Gazpromneft-Aero has previously developed blockchain-based solutions for aircraft fuelling. As previously reported, the Gazprom Neft subsidiary partnered with major Russian air carrier S7 Airlines to collaborate in 2018 on a fuel delivery and payment system based on distributed ledger technology.