Qantas Takes Flight Into the NFT Space with Plans to Release Digital Collectibles

Australian airline Qantas is planning to release its own NFT collection mid-year.
Image source: Qantas

Quick take:

  • Initial buyers of a Qantas NFT will be able to earn Qantas points.
  • Qantas NFTs will be released using low-carbon platforms.
  • More future benefits for Qantas NFT holders will be unlocked in due time.

Australia’s flag carrier, Qantas, is flying into the NFT space as it has revealed plans to release an NFT collection in the middle of 2022.

In a sneak peek of what’s to come, the announcement on Qantas’ website features a split image of its Boeing 747 in two liveries. The NFT collection will be split into four tiers and price points named after its cabin classes: first, business, premium economy, and economy.

In a world-first, initial buyers of a Qantas NFT can earn frequent flyer points while those who purchase the full collection will be rewarded with additional bonuses. 

Speaking to Financial Review, Qantas chief customer officer Stephanie Tully said that customers had collected physical Qantas memorabilia for years and the NFTs would be the next generation of collectables.

“A Qantas NFT collection allows us to engage the next generation of aviation and digital art enthusiasts, leveraging blockchain technology to celebrate our heritage and future,” Tully told Financial Review.

With increasing global awareness of the carbon emissions of aviation and NFTs, Qantas is preemptively mitigating potential backlash by stating that its “NFTs will be released with net-zero emissions, using low-carbon platforms and carbon offsetting.”

However, that did not stop Twitter users from chastising Qantas for entering the NFT space. In a response to Qantas’ tweet announcing its NFT plans, Twitter user “werdnum” said: “I know you’re an airline but didn’t realise you hated the environment THAT much.”

Many called NFTs a scam while one user pointed out that Qantas’ NFT plans are inconsistent with its response to climate change and resource constraints.

The airline has not yet decided whether the NFTs will be available via an auction or as a storefront. It has also not yet revealed which low-carbon platforms it will be partnering with for the NFT sale.

Qantas is not the first airline to release an NFT collection. airBaltic was the world’s first airline to issue NFTs last year, after it was the first airline to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. airBaltic’s NFT artwork features the company’s Airbus A220-300 flying over Kuldiga, a Latvian city. 

airBaltic’s collection of 180 NFTs met a lukewarm response as it is currently trading at a floor price of 0.5 ETH and a total trading volume of 3.1 ETH.

Interested buyers of Qantas’ NFTs can register their interest on the airline’s website from today. More details will be unveiled leading up to the NFT’s launch.

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