Dubai’s Emirates airline soars into the Metaverse

The leading airline embraces new technologies ‘as part of its strategy to connect with customers in a faster and more flexible way.’
May 16, 2022 - Cynthia Chung

United Arab Emirate’s leading airline Emirates announces its plans to soar into the Metaverse by leveraging on cryptocurrencies, NFTs and Blockchain technology. 


The leading airline will start with plans to add Bitcoin as payment method and launch NFT collectibles on its website. 


It also announced its intention to use blockchain technology to build applications for tracing aircraft records, according to Emirate’s COO Adel Ahmed Al-Redha in a media gathering held at the Arabian Travel Market. He added that new employees will be recruited to implement and manage crypto payments, blockchain tracking, the Metaverse and NFT projects. Details of the timeline have not been revealed yet. 


These blockchain-related strategies are part of the airline’s plans to effectively ‘monitor customer needs’ and make operations, training and website sales and other airline related experiences into more ‘interactive’ processes. As well as to engage with its existing customers while attracting new ones. 


‘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.’ explained Al-Redha. 


Emirates first revealed its plans to spend ‘tens of millions of dollars’ on the Metaverse and that its EXPO 2020 pavilion in Dubai will be repurposed as an NFT development center. The NFT development center will be used to develop ‘collectible and utility NFTs’ and as the center of Emirates’ own Metaverse. 


Embracing the digital asset space is aligned with the UAE’s vision for the digital economy, the company explained.


Other airlines flying high in the Metaverse


In 2014, airBaltic became the first airline to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as ether and dogecoin as payment methods and followed up with its NFT collection ‘Planies’. Holders will be able to receive airBaltic points and loyalty program benefits.

Qantas announced its NFT intentions, writing on its website that “Qantas NFTs will be released with net zero emissions, using low-carbon platforms and carbon offsetting.”


Photo: Emirates


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