Japanese low-cost carrier Peach Aviation will soon enable travellers to pay for airline seats using cryptocurrency Bitcoin, making it the first carrier in the country capable of accepting the digital payment system.
According to Bloomberg, the airline will begin accepting Bitcoin payments beginning in the end of 2017, and comes following a recent change to Japanese law in April with regards to fund settlements.
Latvian airline AirBaltic was reportedly among the first to accept Bitcoin payments a number of years ago.
Speaking to reporters, Peach CEO Shinichi Inoue, said: “We want to encourage visitors from overseas and the revitalisation of Japan’s regions. This is a first real step in partnerships for Japan and we are aiming for more company and service tie-ups.”
It remains to be seen whether the country’s fellow airlines will follow suit, notably Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways (the latter launched Peach as part of a joint venture in March 2012). Business Traveller has reached out to All Nippon Airways for comment.
Peach has been added a number of different payment options in recent months, notably Alipay and UnionPay cards in February – both highly prominent payment platforms in China.
Bitcoin is a digital payment system and form of currency developed in 2009, and notable for its ability to allow users to make transactions directly without need for an intermediary.