Amadeus taps into emerging tech talent with sustainability themed hackathon

Amadeus taps into emerging tech talent with sustainability themed hackathon

The GDS and travel tech giant welcomed over 2,500 students from around the world to the virtual event held in October

by Aidan Poole

Amadeus put the focus on sustainability in travel at a virtual hackathon for students organised by the GDS and travel tech giant.

The event saw over 2,500 students from around the world register for the chance to code on a cloud-native platform and compete for prizes including cash and internships with Amadeus and industry partners.

The hackathon was held over October as a way for the GDS to interact with emerging talent invested in sustainable travel.

Amadeus saw over 100 university students advance to the final challenges related to Sustainable Development Goals, Emission Offsetting and Green Hotels.

Participants welcomed insights and support from industry leaders representing brands including Air France-KLM, Etihad Airways, Microsoft, Red Hat, MongoDB, CHOOOSE, Woosmap, Airbus, American Airlines, United Nations World Tourism Organization and Saving the Amazon.

The students also enjoyed a coding platform, a virtual DJ, yoga sessions, and interactions with industry mentors over the two week event.

Kimberly Dijkmans, a member of the team that won the ‘Sustainable Development Challenge’ and recent computer science graduate from the Netherlands, said: “I really enjoyed participating in this hackathon and I discovered a lot about sustainability in travel.

“The topic is very important to me personally – so the lessons I gained from this hackathon will go a long way towards my future career decisions.

“I also had an opportunity to work with a diverse group of people from around the world and am happy to have made new friends who are passionate about the same subject.

“I also feel my coding skills improved: I learned Java at university – but through this hackathon – I developed new skills.

“I used Figma for the first time to create a prototype and React to create a web app. We also worked on GitHub as a team – which was new for me.

“The feeling of being part of a community was great.

“Amadeus did a lot to make us all feel involved – we had webinars, mentor sessions, and the Work Adventure platform created a sense of togetherness.”

Dijkmans’ team developed FlyLight, a winning hackathon app that rewards travellers for keeping their luggage weight below airline allowance to reduce fuel amounts needed for flights.

Christophe Bousquet, chief technology officer at Amadeus, said: “My congratulations to all of the student winners of our worldwide hackathon.

“The actions we take today to make travel more sustainable could have a profound impact on how the future looks.

“This hackathon was about empowering the next generation of coders to make a difference.

“We view sustainability and humanity’s response to climate change as one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime.

“As such, this hackathon was a prime opportunity to reflect on the way travel and coding can deliver a positive environmental and social impact.

“The entire travel industry must put its best minds together to come up with the innovative solutions required to create a better future.”

According to Amadeus, the GDS has a responsibility to uphold a strategy that reduces the firm’s environmental impacts, provides sustainable solutions to customers, and works with industry leaders to drive positive change through initiatives.

The brand said it congratulates winners PlanIT, Eco Motion, Sustainable Hotel Booking, FlyLight, Lug Lite, 5+2=5, B.R.A.S.R. and Smart CPM Parser and Sustainable Message Processor, who have produced everything from travel apps to booking solutions that help make travel more sustainable.