Norwegian Air To Accept Payments By Bitcoin

Norwegian Air, Norway’s low-cost airline service might start accepting Bitcoin for payment against its services, especially since the company’s co-founders announced that they were opening a cryptoasset exchange.

Local press reported on Tuesday that the influential Kjos family has already established a company called Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) which is set to launch in August. Soon after this business might be expanded into neighbouring countries.

NBX will integrate Norwegian Air’s existing rewards program, and customers can earn points by trading on the exchange, which they can swap for discounts on tickets and other perks.

The head of the exchange, Stig Kjos-Mathisen, said in an interview,

“NBX’s customers are given the opportunity to earn ‘cash points’ on trades on the stock exchange, as well as on payments made through the payment solution NBX stock for the airline.”

Norwegian Air will be extremely benefitted from the crypto services. Within 18 years of its launch, it went from a company with 130 employees and four aircraft to one with 11,000 staff and a fleet of 195 planes operating 500 routes. However, the company was recently affected by the grounding of Boeing 737 aircraft resulting in a 72% fall in net profit.

Apart from Norwegian Air, several other travel companies offer payment by bitcoin. For example, Norwegian Air’s close competitor, Latvia’s AirBaltic, was the first airline service in the world to begin accepting them in 2014. California-based online travel agency CheapAir were already accepting BTC payments since 2013, and Corporate Traveller, the UK-based travel management company, said in April it was accepting bitcoin for payments in partnership with BitPay. TravelbyBit, a Brisbane-based startup, has partnered with Brisbane Airport Corporation to launch the “world’s first digital currency friendly airport”, according to its co-founder Caleg Yeoh.

It looks like crypto may truly be taking off in the airline sector.