Cryptocurrency: airline Surf Air now accepting bitcoin payments – Business Insider
LONDON — The world’s first ‘all-you-can-fly’ airline Surf Air announced on Tuesday it is now accepting cryptocurrency payments.
Surf Air will accept bitcoin and ethereum payments for its monthly membership and to charter global flights, in a move the airline described as a “natural progression” from its Silicon Valley roots.
“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,” said CEO of Surf Air Europe Simon Talling-Smith.
“This comes ahead of our inaugural flight from London City Airport that will transform the business travel experience for our European membership base,” he said.
Bitcoin hit a new high of $11,829 on Tuesday morning, as interest in the cryptocurrency continues to grow among institutional investors.
Surf Air is a private jet service that launched its European service in June this year, expanding from its American base. It has over 70 flights daily in California and 30 flights daily across Texas, and passengers will soon be able to fly from London City to Zurich, Ibiza and Cannes. New routes are also planned from Zurich to Munich and Luxembourg.
The company has five membership options: Unlimited Global, which allows customers to travel to and from California, Texas and Europe and provides unlimited access to new routes for one year; Unlimited Europe, Unlimited United States and Unlimited California or Texas.
At the current exchange rate, prices for annual membership range from 7.3 bitcoin or 156.2784 ethereum ($85,132 / £63,435) for Unlimited Global, to 3.04 bitcoin or 65.08032 ethereum ($35,452 / £26,417) for Unlimited California or Texas.
The news comes as both the UK and other EU governments plan to crack down on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, amid fears they are being used to facilitate financial crimes and launder money. New regulations have been proposed to bring cryptocurrencies in line with anti money laundering and counter terrorist financing legislation, which will force users to reveal their identities in some instances.
“We are focused on staying at the forefront of technology to provide the most progressive, secure and efficient air travel in the world,” said Talling-Smith. “Digital currency has been on our radar from the very beginning.”