Emirates, the largest airline in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has announced plans to embrace and accept Bitcoin (BTC) payments on its website.
The chief operating officer of Emirates, Adel Ahmed Al-Redha, reportedly stated at a media gathering held at the Arabian Travel Market that the Dubai-based airline will be onboarding new staff to work on bitcoin payments.
Apart from that, Al-Redha stated that the aviation business is gradually making a comeback as more and more travelers arrive. To broaden its appeal, the company is adopting new technologies such as a Bitcoin payment service and tradeable NFT collectibles.
“Dubai and the UAE are blazing the way in the digital economy, having a clear vision supported by practical policies and regulatory frameworks in areas such as virtual assets, artificial intelligence, and data protection,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Emirates airline and group.
Besides making move towards bitcoin acceptance, Emirates will continue flights to Russia as it is only a small fraction of their business. “We shouldn’t mix up people and the government” explained CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum to a CNBC International reporter on Tuesday
The airline industry has to catch up with customer preferences. AirBaltic, the first airline to accept bitcoin payments has recently integrated Dogecoin payments after the shitcoin was hyped by Elon Musk. Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele declared in October 2021 that the airline Volaris El Salvador would accept BTC payments. El Salvador pushed for BTC adoption when it declared the cryptocurrency official tender.
Will more airlines start accepting bitcoin now?
Smaller airlines like PLAY from Iceland have signaled interest to accept bitcoin in case the industry’s leaders would move into that direction. Airlines have to face a hyper competitive market environment where every customer counts. Offering new services and reaching different segments can be a strategic advantage that pays off.