In an industry first, the airline has partnered with TravelX and the Algorand platform for a series of sustainable ‘NFTicket’ crypto artworks.
Third-largest Spanish airline Air Europa is the latest in the aviation industry to jump on the booming NFT-trend. It has also become the very first to release a non-fungible token ticket series, so-called NFTickets. To do so, it has joined forces with TravelX, a company building what it terms the industry’s first ‘blockchain-based distribution protocol’.
Air Europa flies to over 60 destinations around the world. The last few years have revolved around the airline’s on-and-off-again deal with International Airlines Group (IAG). However, it is now looking to establish a different narrative as a technological innovator at the forefront of digital history.
Together with TravelX, it will release ten NFTs in partnership with acclaimed digital artists. The auctions will go live every 14 days via the platform of travelexchange.com. The first NFTicket will be released for bidding on Monday, April 11, at 16:00 EST, with the auction lasting for 48 hours.
Premium seats, perks, and events along with a unique piece of ‘industry history’
The tickets will provide a business class seat from Madrid to Miami on November 29, 2022. NFTicket holders will also be given special perks and access to events ahead of the art show of the Americas taking place in Miami Beach in December. Bernardo Botella, Global Sales Director at Air Europa, commented,
“Innovation is in our DNA, we have been pioneers in applying new technologies within our industry and it can not be different with NFTs, which could be the next step in the travel industry. We are proud to be the first airline to adopt blockchain technology for inventory management and distribution. We’re excited to see where this could take travel as a whole and how it could improve customer experience.”
The NFTickets function just as regular tickets and are one-of-a-kind. When traded, transactions are recorded on the blockchain. When ready to use, the owner can present the NFT, and a matching flight ticket will be issued. TravelX and Air Europa say that by purchasing one, customers have the opportunity to ‘hold a piece of travel industry history and participate in the first-ever blockchain-backed flight.’
The Air Europa NFTickets holder will ‘hold a piece of aviation history’. Photo: Getty Images
Art as destination
The first series of NFTickets are curated by Ximena Caminos and is titled ‘The Art as the Destination’. The first piece is created by multi-disciplinary artist Carlos Betancourt, whose works are represented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, DC, among others. Betancourt himself stated,
“Artists are intrigued by discovery, exploration. The same is with technology. With this piece, I’m experimenting with the boundaries of art and technology. The animated artwork is inspired by concepts of space, magical realms, and travel experiences, as well as by the memories and feelings these experiences evoke.”
Sustainable fusion of art, travel, and technology
Blockchain technology is often criticized for its environmental impact. And NFTs, or individual pieces of crypto art, are partially responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions the currencies used to buy and sell them generate. However, TravelX and Air Europa say they are using the carbon-neutral Algorand platform to mint the NFTickets.
Algorand calls itself the future of sustainable blockchain technology. The platform has recently launched a $300 million fund to enable sustainable development and even a negative carbon footprint. Facundo Diaz, Co-Founder of TravelX, commented on the partnership,
“It’s very exciting to give birth to a new kind of NFT, minted on Algorands carbon-negative blockchain. We will blend the best of the traditional NFT, but add real-world application and experience. This provides a better flight ticket that travelers can easily manage and trade from their blockchain wallet, combined with a new kind of collectible art piece. We believe NFTickets will be the perfect fusion of art, travel, and technology.”
TravelX will be hosting an invite-only event at the Eiffel Tower, amid Paris NFT Day on April 12 and Paris Blockchain Week, April 13 – 14, to celebrate the launch and reveal the final bid for the first-ever NFTicket.
What do you make of the latest NFT development? How much do you think Air Europa’s NFTicket artworks will sell for? Leave a comment below and join the crypto conversation.