Categories: Cryptocurrency

Major European airline to accept crypto payments in 2020


Norwegian Air, one of Europe’s biggest airlines, plans to accept cryptocurrency payments for flight ticket booking as soon as this spring.

Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) CEO Stig Kjos-Mathisen revealed the news during an interview with local media outlet Dagens Næringsliv last week.

Norwegian Air is the largest airline in all of Scandinavia and the third largest low-cost air carrier in Europe. It serves frequent domestic flights within Finland Scandinavia, as well as international flights to Europe, North Africa, and the Americas.

Its founder and former CEO, Bjørn Kjos, plans to use the NBX to facilitate crypto payments for his airline.

The easy integration between the exchange and the airline is made possible due to the two entities being partly owned by one family.

A family of crypto enthusiasts

NBX is a Norwegian crypto exchange and payment system that aims to transform “the financial world and the airline/aviation industry” and make air travel more convenient.

The exchange was founded in 2018 by Bjørn and is being maintained by the airline mogul’s family.

His son, Lars Ola Kjos, is a huge bitcoin fan who allegedly owns roughly US$446,000 [AU$673,000] worth of BTC. His son-in-law, Stig, serves as the managing director of the platform.

NBX to be rolled out in 2020

NBX is past its beta phase after months of testing and has been open to the public since January. Soon, it will be fully integrated with Norwegian Airlines.

“Everything is ready to go from our side,” says Stig in an interview with Dagens Næringsliv. The NBX payment infrastructure will enable travelers to purchase tickets with cryptocurrencies.

The rollout is scheduled to launch this year, possibly as early as next month.

The list of supported digital currencies has not been confirmed yet. But Bitcoin, being the most widely used cryptocurrency in the market, is likely to be prioritized.

Norwegian bank in support of crypto-airline collab

Sparebanken Øst, the oldest bank in Norway, has invested 15 million kroner [US$1.6 million] for 16.3% stake of the exchange back in September 2019.

The Norwegian bank recognized its potential synergy with NBX and Norwegian Airlines, as stated in its press release:

“Possible collaboration with the airline Norwegian Air Shuttle, a key player with NBX, could be a platform for launching new solutions on a mass scale, and the bank sees great market potential both nationally and internationally.”

German airline also to accept crypto as payment

In November 2019, Micky reported that German air carrier Hahn Air started accepting digital currencies in their flight bookings, through a partnership with travel distribution platform Winding Tree.

However, the airline still hasn’t commercialized this mode of payment.

As it turns out, users can only book flights with cryptocurrencies via Winding Tree’s platform, which accepts both Ether and LIF, its native token.

Evan Ezquer

Evan is a die-hard crypto enthusiast and owner of the Crypto Skillset blog. He loves to create easy-to-digest content crypto for everybody. His long-term goal is to help blockchain companies succeed and bring crypto adoption to the masses.

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Evan Ezquer

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