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Published in Airways Magazine

DALLAS – Air Europa (UX) has become the first airline to mint a plane ticket as an NFT, making it the most valuable ticket sold in commercial aviation history.

TravelX, the company developing the travel industry’s first blockchain-based distribution protocol, and UX, the third-largest Spanish airline with flights to over 60 destinations worldwide, announced the completion of the first NFT (non-fungible token) Flight Ticket, or “NFTicket,” auction for US$1,002,000.

In simple terms, “minting” an NFT is uniquely publishing your token on the blockchain to make it purchasable. An NFT is a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain, a form of digital ledger, that can be sold and traded.

To create the NFTicket, TravelX used Algorand, the world’s “most decentralized, scalable, and secure blockchain technology.” The company says “Algorand is a fully carbon-negative blockchain, designed from the beginning for minimal environmental impact.”

Each cryptocurrency transaction requires around 2100 kilowatt-hours (kWh), which is roughly what an average US home spends in 75 days. When this energy is derived from nonrenewable sources, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can cause massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions; hence, the push for a greener blockchain technology.

TravelX was founded to rethink the travel industry and speed its transition to Web3 by tokenizing travel inventory into NFTs that can be swapped alongside digital stable coins over the blockchain ecosystem. TravelX says its integration tech will open up a whole new universe of use cases, allowing travel suppliers to improve and increase the efficiency and profitability of their inventory distribution.

Image: TravelX website

Comments from TravelX, Algorand

“We found that blockchain technology had reached a maturity point where it could help travelers to have a more frictionless experience and increase profitability for travel suppliers,” said Juan Pablo Lafosse, co-founder at TravelX. 

“The excitement and value generated with this first-ever NFTicket is recognition and validation of a real-world application for NFTs. We believe this could become the new standard for the travel industry.”

“Sustainability has been a core component of Algorand since its inception,” said Algorand founder Silvio Micali. “We are excited to provide the blockchain infrastructure to enable TravelX to change the world of travel in an environmentally friendly way.”

Travel is the only big industry on the planet that doesn’t have a secondary market. TravelX technology wants to allow the creation of new marketplaces and secondary markets for commercial aviation. 

What “DeTravel,” TravelX’s term for a Decentralized Travel is, and when or if it becomes commonplace is still an enigma, but the technology is here to stay.

Featured image: Air Europa EC-MUZ Boeing 737-800. Photo: Arturo La Roche/Airways