Passengers flying with Latvian airline airBaltic now have more cryptocurrency payment options.
According to an announcement on the airline’s website on Monday, passengers can now pay for flight tickets using Ether (ETH) and Dogecoin (DOGE). Other accepted virtual currencies include Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as well as four U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins: USD Coin (USDC), Binance Dollar (BUSD), Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and Paxos (PAX).
The airline began accepting Bitcoin (BTC) payments back in July 2014. Indeed, the Latvian national carrier is touted as being the first airline in the world to offer cryptocurrency payment options.
As part of its announcement, airBaltic clarified that despite accepting crypto payments, ticket prices are not denominated in the supported cryptocurrencies. The prices are displayed in euros with cryptocurrency payment gateway service BitPay handling the conversion of virtual currency payments to fiat upon ticket purchase.
Commenting on the airline’s decision to expand its supported crypto payment options, airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss stated:
“As an innovative airline, we always strive to search for ways to improve the customer experience starting from the booking process. Over the years around 1,000 clients have used the payment option, which may not seem like a lot, but still offers passengers a unique payment option hard to find elsewhere.”
Crypto adoption is gaining momentum in the travel and hospitality industry with travel agencies, airlines and hotels allowing customers to make bookings using cryptocurrencies.
Crypto-friendly travel agencies like Travala boast an extensive network of supported airlines and hotels that accept virtual currency payments.
Apart from flight tickets and bookings, the aviation industry is also deploying blockchain technology for a variety of use cases. The need for digitization amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic seems to have also encouraged a greater focus on utilizing the emerging tech.
Back in February, Air France announced a pilot scheme that would involve using a blockchain-based system for verifying COVID-19 test results of passengers.