Despite the mounting regulatory concerns being directed at cryptocurrencies by various governments and government agencies, one of the largest budget airlines in Norway, Norwegian Air, recently announced plans to incorporate cryptocurrency in their ticket booking operations.
According to Dagens Næringsliv (DN), a Norwegian newspaper, Norwegian Air will allow travelers to pay for tickets using cryptocurrencies including the flagship cryptocurrency, bitcoin.
Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX)
Norwegian Air plans to develop this payment platform using the Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) which will be unveiled in August. In the months after, the crypto payment system will be made available in other exchanges accessible in the neighboring countries.
As one of the perks of this new payment system, customers will be allowed to trade on NBX and earn points. They will then be allowed to exchange these points earned for discounts while purchasing air tickets.
“NBX’s customers are given the opportunity to earn cash points on trades on the crypto exchange as well as on payments made through the payment solution NBX stock for the airline,” Kjos-Mathisen said.
New Development Is The First-Of-Its-Kind In Norway
Norwegian Air has been in operation for 18 solid years. It started as a small company comprised of 130 employees and it has since grown massively to be a large airline with over 11,000 employees and more than 190 planes.
With this recent development, it will be the first aviation company to spearhead blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption in Norway. Stig A. Kjos-Mathisen, who will be head of the Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX), spoke to DN newspaper stating:
“First, the marketplace will be launched. Then NBX will make a payment solution for the airline so that airline customers can pay with virtual currency.”
Notably, blockchain technology has been in the aviation industry for a while now with the likes of AirBaltic, CheapAir, and Qantas already accepting cryptocurrency payments. This NBX development will definitely put Norway on the map as an early blockchain and cryptocurrency adopter.
What Could Have Prompted This Bold Move?
The Norwegian Air founder, Bjorn Kjos, might have been influenced by his son, Lars Kjos, to venture into the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem. This is from reports that Bjorn Kjos is an ardent proponent of cryptocurrency, with a crypto portfolio worth more than $400,000 which he acquired before November 2017.
Others speculate that the airline could be facing some financial constraints at the moment and therefore the need to diversify to the blockchain and cryptocurrency market.