Norwegian Air, one of the largest low-cost carriers in Europe, will be allowing passengers to buy tickets using Bitcoin. Not only will Norwegian begin accepting Bitcoin payments, it will also set up its own cryptocurrency exchange, a bank of sorts for digital currency.
This is probably both a PR move and one to support Norwegian’s planned expansion into neighboring countries and bolster its struggling financials.
Norwegian Bitcoin Implementation Plan
At first, Norwegian will only make it possible for customers living in Norway to purchase flights in cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. Its part of the Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX), available to Norway’s residents as early as August. Then, the airline plans to open exchanges in neighboring countries over the next few months.
Why Norwegian and Bitcoin?
While Norwegian was founded by Bjørn Kjos in 1993, Kjos, recently stepped down as CEO.
It is believed that his son, Lars, who has taken over as CEO, is most likely behind the move to incorporate cryptocurrency into the airline’s payment system. Furthermore, Lars also has significant investments in cryptocurrency, which may explain his eagerness to bring Bitcoin payments onboard.
Norwegian will be just one of the few airlines willing to process cryptocurrency payments. Norwegian’s fleet consists of 195 aircraft with more than 500 routes throughout the world. It is primarily a low-cost carrier which has brought low fares recently across the Atlantic to the United States.
Who Else Accepts Bitcoin For Travel?
Abitsky.com, which offers flights across continental Europe, also now accepts payment via Bitcoin.
Latvian airline airBaltic was one of the first airlines to accept Bitcoin as payment from its customers, and offers over 60 destinations located across Europe, Middle East, and Russia. air Baltic is also one of the first airlines to fly the A220 (previously Bombardier CSeries) aircraft.
CheapAir.com was one of the first online travel agencies to accept Bitcoin for payments. In addition, they have announced they will also be accepting Litecoin, BCH, and Dash as payment options. This allows consumers to usie these cryptocurrencies to process payments during the booking process for flights and hotels.
A Spanish travel agency, Destinia.com, is a newcomer accepting Bitcoin payment for travel bookings. Destinia.com utilizes BitPay to process the new payment option. BitPay is one of the well-known cryptocurrency-related payment processors.
LOT Polish Airlines
LOT Polish Airlines also accepts Bitcoin for payment and it can be used to pay for flights to and from over 60 destinations.
Peach Aviation is a Japanese budget airline. In late 2017, Peach began accepting Bitcoin for all its discount flights across northern Asia.
We knew billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson had to be in this Bitcoin trend as well. Logically, Virgin Galactic announced that its commercial space flight venture, Virgin Galactic, will also be accepting Bitcoin.
Interested In Bitcoin?
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The acceptance of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general by Norwegian is a neat development.
Will this latest move by a major player in the airline industry mark an important milestone to embrace cryptocurrency in its payment systems? Probably not, but we’ll see if any other airlines catch on.
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