Bitcoin is becoming more mainstream day-by-day. In many countries, thousands of merchants are accepting the token as a means of payment, and countries like Japan have also recognized digital currency as a legal exchange. Now the cryptocurrency has entered the trillion dollar travel industry.
The California-based airline Surf Air has announced that it will accept payments in Bitcoin and Ethereum for its monthly membership services as well as global charter services.
Surf Air’s chairman and CEO, Sudhin Shahani, said: “Surf Air was built on the idea of disrupting and changing the way the world sources, purchases and accesses air travel, so it only makes sense that we would also be on the cutting edge of accepting disruptive and progressive forms of payment such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.”
He added: “Similarly, Bitcoin users are a tremendously motivated community of early adopters. By creating connective tissue between these forward-thinking business models, I believe we’re molding the future for consumer-first, experience-driven commerce.”
“We are focused on staying on the edge of technology as a way to provide the most progressive, secure and efficient air travel in the world. Digital currency has been on our radar from the very beginning and we are excited to provide our members with another quick and seamless way to do business with Surf Air,” he concluded.
The airline has an ‘all you can fly’ model, under which the passengers can travel as much as they want for a monthly membership fee. Originating in the USA, Surf Air has expanded its services to Europe with the launch of its private jet service in June this year.
Currently, the airline is operating more than 70 daily flights in California and 30 more in Texas. With the European extension, the airline is also planning to operate international flights from London City to Zurich, Ibiza, and Cannes.
Addressing this move, Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO and co-founder, said: “We’re really excited that Surf Air has decided to accept bitcoin as a payment method. This is an important step for digital currencies as they move from an investment asset to creating an open financial system. The market cap of digital currencies has increased from ~$17B to over $300B in 2017. There are now tens of millions of people around the world who have digital currencies and are looking for places to transact.”
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)