Want those extra airline miles? All you have to do is lock up your NFTs.
United Arab Emirates’ flagship carrier, Etihad Airways, announced its expansion today of its loyalty and rewards programs for their customers and NFT holders.
The airline teased the release of a new 300-edition expansion to its Polygon-based EY-ZERO1 NFT collection, offering NFT holders the ability to “stake” or lock their digital assets in exchange for air miles.
This limited-edition release marks the eleventh 3D aircraft model added to the EY-ZERO1 NFT collection, which made its initial debut in July 2022. The collection’s newest NFTs are intricately designed to mirror the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, adorned with branding from the latest addition to the Mission Impossible franchise “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.” This cinematic association adds a layer of allure to the digital collectibles, making them coveted assets for both aviation enthusiasts and cinephiles.
The original EY-ZERO1 collection offered its holders a suite of exclusive perks, such as a one-year Etihad Silver Tier status and access to a special event at the Yas Marina Circuit Formula 1 race.
The upcoming collection, however, takes the rewards a notch higher.
Holders can anticipate a 12-month Etihad Guest Silver Tier Status, priority check-in, a 25% boost in earning Etihad Guest Miles, lounge access at Abu Dhabi International Airport, and membership to the Etihad: Virtual Club. They will also receive a fast-track opportunity to upgrade from Silver to Gold Tier status and a personalized Etihad membership card.
Come September, Etihad is poised to unveil its Web3 loyalty program, aptly named “Horizon Club.” This program will introduce a staking-for-miles feature, allowing the community to “lock” their NFTs and earn Etihad Guest Miles in return. These miles can subsequently be redeemed for flights, seat upgrades, and other exclusive benefits.
This NFT expansion is a collaborative effort between Etihad Airways and Arcube, a firm specializing in real-world asset tokenization and Ethiad Airways’ new official Web3 partner. For holders, they will also be able to transact with either traditional credit cards or cryptocurrency, powered by infrastructure company Crossmint in helping facilitate the payment process.
Airlines flying into Web3
Etihad’s flight path towards the Web3 domain is certainly indicative of a broader trend that we’ve started to see take off within the airline industry.
In March, Argentinian low-cost carrier Flybondi partnered with NFT ticketing company TravelX to offer all its tickets as NFTs on the Algorand blockchain.
Japan’s All Nippon Airways
Japan’s aviation giant, All Nippon Airways (ANA), also landed in the NFT market in June, unveiling a marketplace that encompassed a metaverse travel experience that integrates passengers’ flight histories with their digital avatar.
Spain’s Air Europa
Similarly, Spain’s Air Europa also partnered with TravelX in April 2022, launching a series of NFT tickets linked to exclusive perks and events.
Etihad Airways’ latest initiative is yet another case study for intentional applications of digital collectibles and blockchain technology that works to enhance both the airline industry and its customers through an evolving loyalty and rewards program that prioritizes real-world experiences.