The “all-you-can-fly” regional airline Surf Air has started accepting the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment for its monthly membership and charter services. Under its plan, the private airline will allow its customers to pay for their seats using either virtual currency through a mobile app.
According to the airline’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sudhin Shahani, the disruptive and progressive technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum complement their vision of changing the way the world sources, purchases, and accesses air travel.
"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. 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.”
Additional information on Surf Air’s new strategy
Under the new scheme, Surf Air allows its members to pay a monthly fee for them to fly as many times as they want. The passengers enrolled in the service are already pre-screened through a government-licensed background check so they would not be required to wait in security.
The regional carrier is partnering with digital currency platform Coinbase in the implementation of its new scheme with Coinbase handling the payments side of the program.
The airline industry’s adoption of cryptocurrencies
Players in the airline industry, particularly the regional and smaller companies, have taken a positive approach on the virtual currencies.
Before Surf Air, several regional airlines have already accepted Bitcoin as a form of payment over the years. Other companies have also explored other possible applications of the cryptocurrencies' underlying technology called Blockchain, including in ticket disbursement and maintenance tracking.