Norwegian Air, one of the largest airlines in Europe, is set to soon start accepting cryptocurrency payments for tickets.
According to the CEO of Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) Stig Kjos-Mathisen, his cryptocurrency trading platform successfully developed a payment infrastructure that will allow Norwegian Air customers to buy tickets with cryptocurrency.
Speaking to a local business newspaper, Kjos-Mathisen noted that from the exchange’s end “everything is ready to go,” with the feature expected to roll out sometime later this year. Kjos-Mathisenm, according to a CoinDesk report, is the son-in-law of the founder and CEO of Norwegian Air, Bjørn Kjos.
Bjørn Kjos has reportedly been involved in NBX since it launched last year, with the plan being to use the cryptocurrency exchange’s technology to offer cryptocurrency payments to the airline’s customers. The trading platform opened for beta users in September 2019, and is now accepting general users.
Norwegian air itself was founded back in 1993. Although it has grown in its 18 years since launch in 2001 from a company with 130 employees and four aircraft to one with 11,000 staff and a fleet of 195 planes operating 500 routes, the company was hit recently by the grounding of Boeing 737 aircraft.
Its earnings suffered a 72% drop in the second quarter of last year, but following extensive cost cuts the company recovered to in October declare a pre-tax profit of 2.2 billion Norwegian kroner (around $215 million). Which cryptocurrencies it will accept as payments is unclear.
Bjørn’s son, Lars Ola Kjos, has reportedly invested over $400,00 in bitcoin in November 2017, before the flagship cryptocurrency’s price hit a new all-time high close to $20,000 in December.
Traveling with Bitcoin
Norwegian Air would notably not be the first travel company to offer cryptocurrency payment options. The California-based online travel agency CheapAir has been accepting BTC payments since 2013.
In an interview with CryptoGlobe its CEO Jeff Klee revealed accepting bitcoin was one of the “best decisions” he’s ever made for his business as it helped it and allowed for him to meet A lot of fascinating people.”
Other companies, including TravelbyBit, accept crypto payments. As CryptoGlobe reported, TravelbyBit mulled dropping BTC and BCH as payment options over a viral video detailing a potential exploit.
Featured image via Unsplash.