Windsor Star

Airline joins `NFT' craze


An eastern European airline is joining the craze for “non-fungible tokens” — or digital certificat­es of authentici­ty — as it plots a course out of a health crisis that has wrought untold devastatio­n on the aviation sector. Airbaltic, based in Latvia, says it will make history when it releases limited collector NFTS showcasing an individual Airbus A220-300 with its registrati­on. It will also include a piece of art described as “one of the most beloved Latvian cities” to promote tourism. The carrier's chief executive, Martin Gauss, said the blockchain technology that underpins NFTS and cryptocurr­encies is here to stay and it is important that airlines tap its potential. “After being the first airline to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, it is the next step for us in blockchain technology to offer non-fungible tokens,” he said. “NFTS are not only used for digital art transactio­ns but may as well be expanded to tickets for concerts and other unique one-time pieces, including airline tickets.” Gauss said the sale of NFTS will also boost tourism efforts for cities in Latvia, “certainly still an undiscover­ed destinatio­n for many.” The airline will be connecting the Latvian capital, Riga, with sun destinatio­ns in the Mediterran­ean this summer as it prepares for an upswing in demand as the pandemic abates amid widespread vaccine rollouts.

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