Latvia’s flagship airline airBaltic has become the world’s first airline to embrace the non-fungible token (NFT) craze. The airline offers a limited number of Airbus A220-300 NFT aircraft, along with unique artworks promoting Latvian cities.
airBaltic To Release First NFTs In April
After becoming the first airline in the world to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as payment in 2014, it became the first airline in the world to issue an NFT. Non-fungible tokens are a type of cryptocurrency asset that uses blockchain technology. Each token is completely unique and acts like a type of digital certificate of ownership.
airBaltic plans to launch a “limited collection of NFTs featuring Airbus A220-300 with its registration ”. In addition, as part of the travel campaign, the airline will produce digital art in Latvian cities “one by one”.
In his statement, airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss said:
“NFTs are not only used for digital art transactions, but can also be expanded to concert tickets and other unique one-off pieces, including airline tickets. The release of limited collectible NFTs will serve as a tourist campaign for Latvian cities, which, of course, still remain an unknown place for many.
Is the NFT investment worth it?
NFT is a new form of investment that has only really caught the attention of the public in the last couple of months. As with any investment in collectibles, be it collectible cards, sports memorabilia, or contemporary art, it is not known what could happen to the value. Even though buyers are essentially investing in some of the data on the blockchain, a lot of money has been sold in the pursuit of NFT.
One digital artwork by artist Beeple was recently auctioned at Christie’s for an incredible $ 69 million. The artwork itself has been viewed and replicated online by millions for free, but there is only one digital property token. Other notable deals include the sale of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first tweet for $ 2.5 million and the 2011 Internet meme “Nyan Cat” GIF for $ 600,000.
airBaltic Expands Its Interests In Cryptocurrencies
airBaltic first started accepting cryptocurrency payments in 2014, initially in bitcoin. Since then, the airline has expanded its cryptocurrency list to include other coins such as Dogecoin, Etherium, and Bitcoin Cash. airBaltic will work in conjunction with BitPay, a payment platform that converts cryptocurrency into fiat (regular) currency.
CEO Gauss added:
“After becoming the first airline to accept bitcoin as a form of payment, this is the next step in blockchain technology for us – offering non-fungible tokens.”
The airline recently reported that over 1,000 customers have purchased airline tickets using Bitcoin since 2014. In 2019, an average of 15 bookings per month were made using cryptocurrency, although by 2020 this figure was halved due to travel restrictions.
Other aviation companies such as UK private jet company PrivateFly and Korea’s LCC Jin Air have also raided cryptocurrency. PrivateFly reported that in January of this year, 19% of its income came from payments in cryptocurrency.
Would you like to see more airlines using crypto on board? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.