The Venezuelan carrier Turpial Airlines has announced it will receive bitcoin payments in one of its latest moves to cope with the local currency hyperinflation. The South American operator will also accept payment through PayPal and Zelle, according to an official statement through its Instagram feed. Let’s investigate further.
Bitcoin to travel
Turpial Airlines recently updated the ways a traveler can pay for a ticket with them. On an Instagram post, the Venezuelan carrier wrote,
“Acquiring your ticket with Turpial Airlines is much easier than you imagine. Now we have more tools to facilitate your task.”
A traveler can get a ticket with the Venezuelan airline through its website by paying with bitcoin, the world’s most famous cryptocurrency. They can also pay via Zelle and Paypal, two online payment systems. Or they can pay in the traditional way, using a debit or credit card, according to Turpial Airlines’ post.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been gaining track in Venezuela. Using these currencies has helped citizens deal with the hyperinflation of the local currency.
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Who’s Turpial Airlines?
Turpial Airlines is a small Venezuelan carrier flying from Arturo Michelena International Airport in Valencia.
According to ch-aviation, Turpial Airlines has four international routes and a fleet of three aircraft. The Venezuelan carrier flies to Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport, Cancun (Mexico), Santo Domingo, and Punta Cana (the Dominican Republic). Domestically it goes to Maracaibo, Porlamar, and Puerto Ordaz.
The carrier has three Boeing 737-400, with an average age of 28.4 years. Two of them are currently active, while one is not.
The registrations of Turpial Airlines’ Boeing 737-400s are YV613T, YV621T, and YV622T.
The first flew with Air Europe between 1990 and 1992, then with Inter European Airways until 1994; after that, it went to Markair in Alaska, Icelandair, and Virgin America. It finally landed in Venezuela in 2016.
Meanwhile, YV621T flew with Malaysia Airlines, Nok Air, and Batavia Air, and YV622T only had one prior operator, Malaysia Airlines.
Other carriers that accept bitcoin and more cryptocurrencies?
The use of bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, is becoming a usual trend throughout many industries. So far, not many airlines accept them as a formal payment method; nevertheless, that ought to change in the next few years.
One of the most famous airlines that accept cryptocurrencies is airBaltic. For example, it takes coins like Dogecoin, Etherium, and Bitcoin Cash.
It became the first carrier to jump on the non-fungible token (NFT) trend earlier this year. The airline’s CEO, Martin Gauss, recently said,
“After being the first airline to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, it is the next step for us in blockchain technology to offer non-fungible tokens.”
The private aviation company PrivateFly recently stated that nearly 20% of its yearly revenues come from bitcoin.
As Simple Flying’s reporter Justin Hayward wrote, cryptocurrency payments should offer lower transaction costs. The cryptocurrencies could work very well alongside airline’s migration to digitalization. Additionally, it allows taking out a lot of intermediaries while serving a growing market.
The cryptocurrency trend in the airline industry has started. It either comes from a place of need (like Turpial Airlines) or adapting to a new reality, like airBaltic. We should expect more airlines to start taking payments with bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Have you flown with an airline that accepts cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments.