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Norwegian Air to soon start accepting crypto payments

Image by Norwegian Air Shuttle from YouTube

Fri, 21 Feb 2020, 11:55 am UTC

One of the largest airlines in Europe, Norwegian Air, is going to allow its passengers to pay for their travels using crypto as early as spring.

Cryptocurrency exchange and payment system Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) CEO Stig Kjos-Mathisen revealed in an interview with a local business newspaper that NBX had successfully developed a payment infrastructure that will allow Norwegian travelers to purchase tickets using their digital assets, CoinDesk reported.

“Everything is ready to go from our side”, Kjos-Mathisen said.

At the time, it remains unknown which digital assets will be supported on NBX for ticket payments. However, in 2017, Lars Ola Kjos, the son of Bjørn Kjos - the founder and CEO of Norwegian Air, is said to have bought 3.5 million NOK ($404,000) worth of bitcoins (BTC).

With this move, Norwegian Air will join the small group of airlines that have opened their doors to bitcoin payments. The first airline company to do so was AirBaltic, a company based in Latvia, in 2014.

Launched in 2019, NBX aims to enable the everyday applications of cryptocurrencies and establish a complete ecosystem of blockchain-based services in the longer run. In September, Sparebanked Øst, a Norwegian bank, acquired a 16.3% ownership stake in NBX.

"As the NBX offer of digital asset trading, payment and saving solutions, and blockchain-based services has moved toward the mainstream, Sparebanken Øst believes, in taking an ownership interest in NBX, that NBX will offer solutions that will equip the bank to manage competition and future-oriented solutions for its customers," the announcement read.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro made a big announcement last month mandating PDVSA, a state-owned oil company, to accept state-backed digital currency, petro, as payment for the fuel it sells to airlines.

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