Now in its fourth year of operation in the United States of America (USA) and having debuted in Europe this past summer, Surf Air has become known on both sides of the Atlantic for the disruption its low-cost, all-you-can-fly, subscription-based model as brought to the corporate travel market. It is now following other private aviation businesses in accepting digital currencies allowing Bitcoin and Ethereum to be used for membership payment.
- Surf Air has started accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum for membership payment for its low-cost, all-you-can-fly, subscription-based airline model.
- The market capitalisation of digital currencies has increased from around USD17 billion to over USD300 billion in 2017.
- Surf Air currently operates across a network including over 70 daily flights in California, 30 daily routes spanning across Texas, and launched in Europe this past summer.
- Surf Air Europe currently operates from London Luton but will move its operation to London City following customer feedback.
Surf Air was built on the principle of disrupting and changing the way the world sources, purchases and accesses air travel so it only makes sense that it would be on the cutting-edge of accepting new forms of payment such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and with its Silicon Valley roots it represents a natural progression for the business.
The market capitalisation of digital currencies has increased from around USD17 billion to over USD300 billion in 2017 and there are now tens of millions of people around the world who have digital currencies and are looking for places to transact.
Surf Air’s chairman and CEO Sudhin Shahani understandably highlights that digital currency has been on its radar from the very beginning of business. “Bitcoin users are a tremendously motivated community of early adopters. By creating connective tissue between these forward-thinking business models, I believe we’re moulding the future for consumer-first, experience-driven commerce,” he explains.
The digital currencies were accepted for payments from 29-Nov-2017 allowing traders to unlock its growing network of flights within the USA and Europe, including over 70 daily flights in California between cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego and the Bay Area, 30 daily routes spanning across Texas, including Dallas, Houston and Austin and recently launched service in Europe between London, Ibiza and Zurich.
Surf Air is creating a model that is both affordable for existing users of regional, commercial airlines, and offers the comfort, time savings, and premium experience of flying privately. Members can book tickets via an app and travellers are only required to arrive 15 minutes before their flight leaves.
The company’s four tiers of membership include Unlimited Global (to include California, Texas, and Europe including unlimited access to new routes for one year), Unlimited Europe, Unlimited United States and Unlimited California or Texas. One Bitcoin can currently purchase five months of Surf Air Basic Membership. At the current exchange rate, prices for yearly membership tiers range from 7.3 Bitcoin or 156.2784 Ethereum for Unlimited Global to 3.04 Bitcoin or 65.08032 Ethereum for Unlimited California or Texas.
Surf Air has flown over 80,000 scheduled flights and nearly 250,000 passengers since inception and is now gearing up to grow its activities in Europe. After initially launching flights between London Luton and Ibiza in Jun-2017, it has expanded to also serve Cannes and Zurich and will shortly move its operation across the UK capital from Luton to City Airport in the Docklands.
It is currently using a single six-seat Embraer Phenom 300 managed on its behalf by UK-based aircraft management company FlairJet, but will shortly add a second jet and early next year the first two of up to six Pilatus PC-12NG single-engined turboprops which will be based in Zurich and will introduce flights to Luxembourg from Feb-2018 and Munich from Mar-2018. Flights are expected to be added to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Geneva, Milan and Paris in the future.