Peach Aviation now accepting Bitcoin payments

Peach Aviation's new A320neo, expected to be received in 2019

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.

Peach Aviation confirms order for 13 new Airbus aircraft

Peach Aviation's new A320neo, expected to be received in 2019

Japanese carrier Peach Aviation Limited has purchased a total of 13 new Airbus aircraft to add to its fleet, comprising ten A320neo and three A320ceo planes, in a sale that has been valued at an estimated US$1.4 billion, according to Bloomberg.

The purchase makes Peach the first Japanese LCC to order an A320neo aircraft, the first of which is scheduled to be received in mid-2019 with the remaining aircraft expected to be delivered over a period of two years.

Peach currently has 18 A320ceo aircraft in its fleet, which will be updated to the A320neo starting 2019. The additional three A320ceos the carrier has purchased are expected to be delivered in 2018, with all 13 new aircraft to be used as part of the airline’s business expansion.

The A320neos are set to feature a total of 188 seats, while the three new A320ceos will have 180 seats.

Peach’s order comes as fellow Asia-based LCC, HK Express took delivery of its first A321 in late October. HK Express has a further 11 A321s and 12 A320neos currently on order.