One of Europe’s leading budget airlines, Norwegian Airlines , will allow passengers to buy tickets using bitcoin. And Norwegian is not stopping there. It’s also opening its own cryptocurrency exchange, Norway’s Dagens Næringsliv (DN) newspaper reported yesterday.
Norwegian business magnate Bjørn Kjos and his family have reportedly set up a cryptocurrency exchange and plan to introduce bitcoin payments at their airline, Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Norwegian plans to allow customers living in Norway to start purchasing plane tickets for flights in cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. Its new Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) will be available to them from August.
according to DN, Norwegian will roll out exchanges in neighboring countries over the coming months.
As reported by local business newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv (DN) on Tuesday, the new exchange is dubbed Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) and is slated to launch in August.
The magnate’s son, Lars Ola Kjos, is also said to have become a bitcoin investor, having bought NOK 3.5 million ($404,000) worth of the cryptocurrency in 2017. At the time, bitcoin prices were far below their current levels of $10,000.
DN said the investment came to light through documents from Lars’ company Green 91, and makes him one of Norway’s top crypto investors. He is also a board member of Norwegian Block Exchange, which the Kjos family owns almost outright, according to the report.
Once the exchange is up and running, the plan is to expand to neighboring countries and, in the autumn, provide a payment solution enabling Norwegian Air Shuttle customers to pay for tickets with cryptocurrency, DN says.
Norwegian Air Shuttle is Scandinavia’s largest airline and Europe’s third-largest budget airline, according to Wikipedia.
Norwegian Air operates a fleet of 195 aircrafts flying over 500 routes throughout the world. The company was founded in 1993 by Bjørn Kjos, 73, who, two weeks ago.
stepped down from his role as CEO. According to DN, it’s Kjos’ son, Lars, who is likely to be behind the decision to embrace cryptocurrency.
However, another factor may be playing a role in Norwegian’s planned crypto operations:
In conclusion, the group’s shares are down more than 75% since April 2018 and its finances remain stretched, following bold plans to take on the transatlantic airlines in the long-haul market.
Diversification seems like a way out of that financial hole.