contributor masthead

 
Kathryn B. Creedy

Plane Speaking

Kathryn B. Creedy.

Is Business Aviation Ready for Cryptocurrencies?

Monarch Air Group says yes.

 


ryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have been getting a lot of press lately; first for an expansive bubble and lately for a dramatic crash in value. But despite that, Monarch Air Group thinks business aviation should consider accepting cryptocurrencies.

“We see it as a must have for 2018 and beyond for private jet providers,” MAG Executive Director David Gitman told BlueSky. “The private jet market has the volume, needs and transaction size to support its ascending use. Therefore it’s not an understatement to project a steady growth in flights booked through Bitcoin, although there’s hardly enough data to decisively support the statement since the whole trend in cryptocurrencies movement is still on a developing curve.

"But one thing is certain, cryptocurrencies’ digital nature mesh very well with today’s digital charter booking systems, allowing customers to click their way to their next destination without a middleman in the process.”

The move was in response to a trend Monarch Air Group saw in the market - the use of cryptocurrencies for booking private flights, especially during the last three months.

“We are constantly evolving and offering our clients easier ways to charter and whether you agree to it or not, cryptocurrency is a reality,” Gitman said.

“The move was aimed towards customer service, accessibility and customization. We identified a large group of people interested in using cryptocurrency to acquire real services such as aircraft chartering. We looked into it and learned how to accept it.

"I was surprised just how easy it was to set up. The announcement we’d accept Bitcoin, triggered interest from clients. We had a lively discussion in the office and there were split between naysayers and those who have invested. In fact, one of our biggest advocates for Bitcoin was an account manager who had invested and received a request for it.”

  David Gitman
MAG Executive Director David Gitman

Monarch provides on-demand air charter and private jet solutions for Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and high-net-worth individuals around the globe. Through a network of subsidiaries and joint venture agreements, it has broadened its market which now includes the United Nations, the US and Canadian defense departments, the World Food Programme, and various NGOs which speaks to its high standards that must pass multi-government regulatory rigor.

“It’s been an interesting development to see how our clients are starting to experience this new payment method,” said Gitman. “Traditional transactions still account for the vast majority of our flights; whether by card, check or wire, and will continue to do so in the upcoming years. Our clients asked for this possibility and we delivered, now it’s up to them to continue driving the record growth of the cryptocurrencies.”

Monarch Air Group

In responding to a question about Bitcoin’s volatility, Gitman admitted Fort Lauderdale, FL-based MAG has only done a single transaction - a Cirrus SR-22 flight between Allegheny County Airport in Pennsylvania and a small airport in Massachusetts.

“Once we accept Bitcoin as payment, it is entirely up to the company to decide whether to keep the funds in cryptocurrency or convert to a more conventional currency,” he said. ”If the company decides to keep the funds in cryptocurrency it’s a corporate investment decision not related to any particular transaction, just as if the company would have decided to buy cryptocurrency. As a company, Monarch does not make any speculative investments. We think providers should keep an open mind, especially considering the high fluctuation in the crypto coin prices; its unstable nature will prevent some clients to continuously use it as the primary paying method.”

But that means business aviation companies need to be savvy investors watching cryptocurrency markets as they would any other such investment. Investors are told again and again to invest for the long-term and over time, they will be rewarded. Thus, it is likely that will also be the case for cryptocurrencies.

The first bitcoin-powered flight was recorded in January 2014 when Belgian tech entrepreneur and bitcoin millionaire, Oliver Janssens, flew from Brussels to Nice Cote D'Azur on a flight booked through UK booking platform, PrivateFly. In November 2017, Swiss charter and management company, Premium Jet, announced that they would be accepting charter flight payments in bitcoin and shortly afterwards (in December 2017) 'All-You-Can Fly' airline, Surf Air, made a similar declaration.

Monarch Air Group

“That is the entire philosophy behind business aviation,” he said. “The whole industry is about making it easier on the customer. I think cryptocurrencies have propelled this market to new heights, giving clients a swifter, secure and universal transaction system. Speed and security are the main assets of such cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin and Ethereum. This provides a win-win situation for business aviation providers and clients; the charter company doesn’t have to rely on business hours to receive a transaction and the passenger will have its payment processed in no more than 30 minutes.”

 
Monarch Air Group
 

About the Author

Kathryn B. Creedy is a veteran aviation journalist and author who has covered almost every facet of commercial and business aviation.

She began her aviation work focusing on regional airlines in the immediate post-deregulation period. She founded Commuter/Regional Airline News in 1982 building it to become the bible of the industry. Kathryn has written for Forbes Online and is the author of Time Flies - The History of SkyWest Airlines in which she chronicled the post-deregulation history of the US regional airline industry.

Kathryn’s byline has been seen in all of the top aviation publications. Her talents migrated to the web, when she returned to the editorship of C/R News - then called Regional Aviation News - in 2005 and took over editorial management of AviationToday.com. In addition, she founded the VLJ Report, covering the emerging very light jets in the business aviation market.

Kathryn’s work has covered the abandonment of over 400 communities driven by changes in the US airline industry and she sees tremendous opportunities to fill the void in intra-state and intra-regional air transport. She has not seen this much activity in this segment of regional transportation since the 1980s.

 

Kathryn welcomes your comments: editor@blueskynews.aero

 
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 8th February 2018 | Issue #450
   

 

Monarch Air Group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Cryptocurrencies’ digital nature mesh very well with today’s digital charter booking systems."

 

David Gitman
MAG Executive Director
 

sign-off Social Media | Archive Search

BlueSky: Your Essential Business Aviation News

Operators|Airports|FBOs|MROs|OEMs|Charter|Interiors|Avionics|Training|Inflight|Recruitment

BlueSky Advertising | Immediate Publication | Guaranteed Insertion | Global Audience

© BlueSky Business Aviation News Ltd 2008-2018