Venezuela’s Caracas International Airport (CCS) will now accept cryptocurrency payments. In the midst of increasing political and economic instability in the South American country, the Venezuelan aviation industry has become yet another cryptocurrency target. Here’s what we learned.
Which cryptocurrency will CCS accept?
Colonel Freddy Borges Flores, the general director of Caracas International Airport, announced their latest developments regarding accepting cryptocurrency payments during a press conference held on October 7.
He talked about how the airport is working with the National Superintendence of Cryptocurrency Assets and Related Activities (Sunacrip, in Spanish) in Venezuela. These two Government entities are working towards the installation of infrastructure that can sustain payment with cryptocurrencies.
The Venezuelan airport will receive payment with cryptocurrencies like Dash, Bitcoin, and even the national digital currency, Petro.
“We need to advance these new economic and technological systems to be accessible. We will activate a button for cryptocurrency payments on the airport platforms and commercial activities in coordination with Sunacrip.”
Venezuela’s government is currently promoting digital currency adoption. According to Borges, the new crypto payment options should benefit tourism going into Caracas and Venezuela.
Not only domestic travelers but also foreign visitors will be able to pay using their crypto wallets.
Other Venezuelan companies accepting Bitcoin
In August, we reported that the Venezuelan carrier Turpial Airlines would start receiving bitcoin payments. This decision would help the airline cope with the local currency hyperinflation.
The South American airline is also accepting payment through PayPal and Zelle, according to an official statement.
Similarly, State carrier Conviasa has entered the cryptocurrency craze. In January 2020, the carrier announced passengers could acquire tickets on the routes Caracas-Cancun and Maracaibo-Panama using the State cryptocurrency Petro. Nevertheless, checking Conviasa’s website, it says that crypto payment is currently suspended, despite the interest from the government to promote this trend.
Other carriers and airports accepting crypto
Cryptocurrency payments are also being accepted in some airports and airlines around the world. In 2018, Brisbane International Airport became one of the first hubs to accept this type of payment.
In a statement published in January 2018, Brisbane Airport Corporation General Manager Strategic Planning and Development, Roel Hellemons, said,
“This is just the beginning for us as we hope to expand the digital currency option across the business, so watch this space.”
airBaltic is one of the most famous airlines that accept cryptocurrencies. It takes coins like Dogecoin, Etherium, and Bitcoin Cash. It also recently jumped into the non-fungible token (NFT) trend earlier this year.
The airline’s CEO, Martin Gauss, recently said,
“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.”
Finally, the private aviation company PrivateFly recently stated that nearly 20% of its yearly revenues come from bitcoin.
How’s CCS doing at the moment
Caracas International Airport is a shell of what it once was. According to Cirium’s database, CCS has 494 scheduled commercial flights in October 2021. Eight carriers are operating in the hub: Avior, Copa Airlines, Estelar, LATAM, Wingo, Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas, Turkish, and Air Europa. Conviasa also operates in this airport, but it doesn’t upload its data to Cirium’s database. Also, LATAM only has one scheduled flight; it doesn’t really fly commercially to Caracas at the moment.
Compared to 2019 levels, CCS has 75.4% fewer flights. It has also lost flights from TAP Portugal, Iberia, Cubana de Aviación, Caribbean Airlines, and Air France.