Lithuanian airline Air Lituanica announced on August 26 it has started to accept payments in bitcoins for flight tickets purchases, as mentioned in this tweet:
We are now accepting Bit-coin payments for ticket purchases at our website t.co/BjnGFOvr7P— Air Lituanica (@Air_Lituanica) August 26, 2014
Air Lituanica is an airline based in Lithuania, which operates scheduled flights in Europe to various destinations such as Paris, Amsterdam, Prague and Berlin.
The airline's payment options include e-bank, credit card, bank transfer (as long as you're not based in Vietnam I guess), and since couple of days, Bitcoin. Both payments via e-bank and credit card require extra fees, respectively 5 LTL (~ 1.9 USD) and 75 LTL (~28.5 USD) per transaction, while bank transfers and Bitcoin don't cost any fee.
In a press release sent to Cointelegraph, Air Lituanica Chief Commerce Officer Simonas Bartkus stated:
"Bitcoin payments are highly beneficial for the aviation market - this currency helps to attract more buyers from abroad as bitcoins can be used anywhere in the world, The money transfer is fast, therefore, there are no added taxes otherwise deducted by banks and agents. This probably is the reason behind the popularity of virtual money among travelling young people."
Cointelegraph reached out to Air Lituanica for more details on their new payment option. According to the company, the option was implemented upon their customers' demand, "especially overseas customers," wrote Air Lituanica's Communication Manager Sandra Meškauskaitė in an email communication with Cointelegraph. She also declared they already had one customer, an individual from the Netherlands, purchasing flight tickets using bitcoins.
Air Lituanica partnered up with UAB Interneto Partneris, an online portals operator and travel agency based in Vilnius, Lithuania. Founded in 2002, the company started to operate under the brand Greitai.lt and was nominated in 2008 as the fastest growing enterprise in Lithuania.
An alleged press release from Greitai.lt was published in /r/Bitcoin on August 8, declaring that the company had become "the first tourism market player within Lithuania to offer paying for its services in the virtual currency of Bitcoins."
Meškauskaitė told Cointelegraph that Air Lituanica was using Bitmarket.lt through their partner UAB Interneto Partneri. UAB Bitmarket Lithuania is a Bitcoin startup offering exchange services and Bitcoin payment solutions for enterprises.
It is said to be one of the largest Bitcoin exchange in the country and has recently started operating in Estonia, Latvia and the U.K. In a communication with a Bitmarket representative, the company acquiesced they were indeed providing Bitcoin payment solutions to UBA Interneta Partneris.
Air Lituanica isn't the first airline to have started accepting Bitcoin payments. On July 22, Latvian airline company airBaltic announced it was the world's first airline to accept Bitcoin.
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