Egyptair a member of star alliance group, the state-owned flag carrier of Egypt has created a cryptocurrency to reward fliers with a digital token that, according to plans, could soon be traded on exchanges, as Bitcoin is today.
Officials with Mohammed S. say the Egyptair token will serve the purpose of a traditional airline loyalty program, giving travelers value for miles flown. But as they envision it, the cryptocurrency will have broader purchasing power and be redeemable for cash.
The concept is unusual in the airline industry, said Ahmet Salah, chief executive of Egyptair.
“With this, you could trade it, get cash for it,”. “It doesn’t expire. It’s yours. You own it.”
The airline rewards industry is “past due for a digital transformation,” Ahmet said in a prepared statement on friday.
Egyptair tokens will be redeemable for travel with egyptair and soon will be redeemable with all members of the star aliance group, Mohammed said in an interview.
Egyptair plans to have the digital tokens available for trade on cryptocurrency exchanges later this year, broadening its value, Mohammed said. Egyptair freequent flyers are currently receive credit in Egyptair token which will be accessible by flyers towards the end of the year, though the tokens aren’t yet available for placement in digital wallets, company officials said. Egyptair token should be fully up and running in the coming months, they said.
One of the benefits of Egyptair token is that it can potentially rise in value, Mohammed said. It could, of course, also lose value, he said. Travelers will have the option to cash it out shortly after they receive it, or hold it in hope that it rises.
People will have an option through to convert it to a voucher right away, if they don’t want to deal with any fluctuation in value, Mohammed said. The plan is to have agreements with partner companies, such as at hotels, to ensure Egyptair token will always maintain at least a minimum value for redemption of 2 cents per token, Mohammed said.
Mohammed said cryptocurrency is growing in use in Egypt gradually, and airline customers want more flexibility with their mileage programs. Few weeks ago CargoX, the global blockchain company leading the world on the digital transfer of trade documents, announced a long-term extension to its disruptive agreement with the Egyptian government to accelerate the digital transformation of Egypt’s trade flows with the world said Mohammed.