Vueling organizes its first hackaton for mobile developers

Airlines have always been, by their very nature, a technology-based business. No wonder, then, that they were at the forefront of the ecommerce revolution and that, now that everyone is talking mobile, they aim to be strong in this field too.

Vueling's hackaton

Vueling's hackaton

This is something that they know well at Vueling, as the Barcelona-based airline has seen a 400% increase in mobile channels sales since launching its own smartphone app in July 2011. But in technology you are only as good as you last success and things move pretty fast...calling external talent is a way to stay on top of the game.

This is possibly the reason that Vueling organized its first mobile development hackaton. For 24 hours between 8th and 9th November, several teams of developers competed to create new apps for Vueling. The winner got 5,000 euros and free flights on Vueling, whereas the remaining top five teams got just the free flights.

While not many details have come out of the winning project (other that it allows users "to create their own flights"), it would be interesting to see whether the practice of organizing hackatons (which is quite usual in the start-up scene)  extends to other airlines, further contributing to the blurring of industry boundaries.

By the way, here is a video about the Hackaton (in Spanish)