California-based airline Surf Air announced last week that it would accept payment in Bitcoin and Ether for its monthly membership plans and other operations. It called the initiative a “natural progression” given its Silicon Valley origin.
Surf Air is the first “all-you-can-fly” airline in the world, providing unlimited flight solutions for a fixed monthly payment. The minimum monthly fee is $1,950, and there is an additional sign-up fee of $1,000.
Surf Air chairman and CEO Sudhin Shahani commented on the move:
“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 be on the cutting edge of accepting new forms of payment such as bitcoin and ethereum.”
Simon Talling-Smith, who runs Surf Air’s European operations, was cited as saying by Business Insider:
“This comes ahead of our inaugural flight from London City Airport that will transform the business travel experience for our European membership base.”
The private flight service expanded in Europe this summer by launching new routes. Soon, passengers will be able to fly without limits from London to Zurich, Cannes, and Ibiza, and from Zurich to Luxembourg and Munich. In the US, the company manages over 70 daily flights in California and around 30 flights per day in Texas.
Surf Air offers five membership packages:
Unlimited Global – with this, passengers can fly to and from California, Texas, and Europe, as well as enjoy new routes without limits for one year;
Based on the Tuesday rates of Bitcoin and Ethereum, the annual membership for Unlimited Global is 7.3 BTC or 156.2784 ETH ($85,132). The same membership for Unlimited California or Texas is 3.04 BTC or 65.0803 ETH ($35,452).
“We are focused on staying at the forefront of technology to provide the most progressive, secure and efficient air travel in the world. Digital currency has been on our radar from the very beginning.”
Brian Armstrong, co-founder of crypto exchange Coinbase and its CEO, expressed his excitement about Surf Air’s decision to accept the two largest cryptocurrencies.
Currently, Bitcoin is on its way to $13,000, fluctuating around $12,800. The price goes up as institutional investors bet on the cryptocurrency ahead of the launch of Bitcoin futures by CME Group.
Several airline companies are getting into the blockchain hype, but few of them accept payments in cryptocurrency.