Japan’s first low budget airline, Peach Aviation, has unveiled plans to offer various Bitcoin services to air travelers. This follows the company’s announcement last month that it would be the first Japanese airline to accept bitcoin payments for tickets.
Japan’s First Airline to Accept Bitcoin
Peach Aviation is Japan’s first Low-Cost Carrier (LCC). The company was founded in February 2011 and commenced operation in March 2012. Peach Aviation is majority owned by Japan’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd (ANA).
Last month, Bitcoin.com reported on Peach Aviation’s plan to accept bitcoin payments for tickets by the end of the year. This is made possible through a partnership with Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange and payments startup Bitpoint.
The bitcoin payment system will be introduced on the airline’s website, the Asahi Shimbun reported on Tuesday, adding that:
The commission is expected to be cheaper than the 440 yen ($3.93) for credit card payments.
Other Bitcoin Services Planned
According to the partnership agreement between Bitpoint and Peach, the two companies expect Bitcoin usage to grow in Japan. They have agreed to work together to offer the following Bitcoin services:
- Introducing bitcoin payments at Peach’s flight ticket counters.
- Introducing Peach’s own Bitcoin wallet for customers.
- Introducing bitcoin payments in stores such as “souvenir shops, restaurants, accommodation facilities, etc, at travel destinations,” their agreement specifies (loosely translated).
- Installing and operating Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) at airports.
- Implementing anything else that contributes to the growth and development of their businesses.
In addition to accepting bitcoin online and at ticket counters, Peach may offer the option to pay with the digital currency at its own duty-free shop. The store, called “Fuchsia by Peach,” opened in October 2012 at Kansai International Airport.
Peach is Committed to Bitcoin
According to the Asahi Shimbun, Peach expects more tourists to switch to using bitcoin, “which allows them to travel light and saves them the trouble of carrying around cash or exchanging money for the local currency,” the publication wrote. Peach CEO Shinichi Inoue was quoted as saying:
I will devote myself entirely to enabling people to travel without wallets.
What do you think about Peach Aviation offering various Bitcoin services? Do you think other airlines will follow suit? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Peach Aviation, JARDesign Group, and The Asahi Shimbun
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