MIAMI – Latvian government-owned airBaltic (BT) is scheduled to become the first and only airline in the world to issue non-fungible tokens (NFT). 

The airline has announced that a limited number of collectors’ special NFTs will be released, depicting one of the carrier’s Airbus A220-300 aircraft with its registration and a piece of art illustrating a Latvian city. The objective is to support tourism in the region and to make Latvia more open to the rest of the world.

“Blockchain technology has proved to be here long-term,” says Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic. Upon becoming the first airline to embrace Bitcoin as a means of payment, Martin further states that offering non-fungible tokens is the next move in blockchain technology for airBaltic.

“NFTs can be used for more than just digital art purchases; they could also be used for concert tickets and other one-of-a-kind items, such as airline tickets. The small collector NFTs will be used as a tourism campaign for Latvian towns, which are still relatively unknown to many people,” he added.

Air Baltic YL-AAU Airbus A220-300. Photo: John Leivaditis/Airways

airBaltic Bitcoin Innitiative

Among the world’s airlines, BT is recognized for its innovation. In 2014, BT became the first airline in the world to accept Bitcoin for flight tickets. AirBaltic also supports other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and Dogecoin, among others, for bookings made on its website, thanks to a partnership with service provider BitPay.

In 2018, BT welcomed everyone to vote on their choice towns and cities in Latvia, after which the company’s Airbus A220-300 fleet was named. Starting with Kuldga, these cities will be portrayed on BT’s digital art pieces one by one. 

Later in April of this year, the initial drop of the first airBaltic limited NFTs will be confirmed.

Featured image: airBaltic YL-AAQ Airbus A220-371. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways