United Arab Emirates-based major airline service Emirates has plans to add "Bitcoin as a payment service" and also will launch a non-fungible token (NFT) trading platform. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Emirates, Adel Ahmed Al-Redha disclosed this information at a media gathering at the Arabian travel market — an international travel trade show, on May 12. The move arrives weeks after the airline in an official statement announced its interest in launching digital collectibles and enhance the metaverse experience of its flyers.
As per remarks published in a report by Arab News, Al Redha hints that his company may have to recruit employees to assist it in creating applications that monitor customer needs. Al Redha refrained from revealing a timeline for when the airline expects to launch its Bitcoin payment service.
Al Redha also spoke of the differences between NFTs and the metaverse at the event, explaining, "NFTs and metaverse are two different applications and approaches. With the metaverse, you will be able to transform your whole processes — whether it is in operation, training, sales on the website, or complete experience — into a metaverse type application, but more importantly making it interactive."
In an official announcement shared by Emirates in mid-April, it said that the first NFT and metaverse projects are already underway, with launch anticipated in the coming months.
“Emirates has always embraced advanced technologies to improve our business processes, enhance our customer offering, and enrich our employees' skills and experiences,” HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman of Emirates said in a statement.
In addition, Emirates is also repurposing its Emirates Pavilion at the Expo 2020 site as a contact point for people that can contribute to the airline's future-focused projects including those relating to the metaverse, NFTs, and Web 3.
“It is fitting that our future-themed Emirates Pavilion at Expo is being repurposed as a hub to develop cutting-edge future experiences aligned with the UAE's vision for the digital economy,” the Emirates chairman added.