Latvian airline airBaltic has become the world’s first airline to accept Bitcoin as payment for its tickets to 60 destinations in Europe, Middle East, Russia and the CIS.
Martin Gauss, airBaltic Chief Executive Officer: "airBaltic has been ranked among TOP 10 most innovative airlines globally. Introducing the Bitcoin payment option is a part of our innovative approach to service with a central focus on our customer."
airBaltic accepts Bitcoin as payment for tickets on its website www.airbaltic.com. The ticket prices on the website are displayed in euros. When airBaltic customers pay for their flight, their Bitcoins are converted into euros at the current exchange rate. To make accepting Bitcoin possible, airBaltic teamed up with Bitpay, a third-party payment processor that converts Bitcoins into euros. The Bitcoin payment option is available when purchasing the cheapest tickets, known as airBaltic Basic class.
Bitcoin is a software-based payment system introduced in 2009. Payments are recorded in a public ledger and bitcoin is its unit of account. Bitcoin payments are accepted by such companies as WordPress.com, Overstock.com, Expedia, Dell, and others.
As announced recently, airBaltic achieved a net profit of EUR +1 million for the full year of 2013, one year ahead of the initial business turnaround schedule. airBaltic serves 60 destinations with direct flights from its home base in Riga, Latvia. From every one of these, airBaltic offers convenient connections via North Hub Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East.
airBaltic in brief:
AIR BALTIC CORPORATION (airBaltic) is a joint stock company established in 1995. The primary shareholder is Latvian state with 99.8% of stock. The airBaltic fleet consists of 25 aircraft – five Boeing 737-500, eight Boeing 737-300 and twelve Bombardier Q400Next Gen. airBaltic offers nonstop flights from three Baltic capital cities: Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn. airBaltic was named Airline of the Year 2009/2010 (Gold Award) by the European Regions Airline Association. airBaltic is the winner of Air Transport World Phoenix Award 2010 – a global recognition of excellence in restructuring business. airBaltic won a special Pacesetter Award 2010 from the Jury of the Budgies World Low Cost Airline Awards, recognising the achievements of airBaltic as a hybrid airline. In 2012, airBaltic was ranked by Airlinetrends to be among the Top 10 airlines globally for innovation.