Bit by Bitcoin: PrivateFly revenues 19% cryptocurrency in 2021


PrivateFly has revealed that Bitcoin payments made up 19% of the company’s sales revenue during December 2020 and January 2021. More than one-in-10 of all its private jet flights were paid for in Bitcoin last month.

The popularity of cryptocurrency payment has soared for PrivateFly in recent months. Typically used to pay for 1-2% of flights per month, payment by Bitcoin rose to 12% in December and 13% in January.

Adam Twidell, PrivateFly CEO, puts the increase in activity down to Bitcoin’s recent climb in value. “While we have accepted Bitcoin payments for many years now, cryptocurrency transactions have really taken off in recent months. These are in line with Bitcoin’s climb in value – to the extent that 13% of our flights were paid for in this way last month. We have previously seen just 1-2% each month.”

PrivateFly was the first global private jet company to accept payments via Bitcoin back in 2014. It has since offered clients the ability to pay in Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies) via BitPay for one-off flights or memberships, but then the company converted the payment to euros, pounds or dollars, to remove volatility risk.

Remove volatility risk

Now PrivateFly’s new Bitcoin Jet Account allows clients to hold onto their Bitcoin, by opening a membership and keeping their account funds in the cryptocurrency.

“Some of these are clients who are looking to realise their gains, while others want to hold onto their cryptocurrency, in expectation of future increases. So, in addition to taking out a membership with us in Bitcoin and converting the account funds into traditional currency (as we have offered for a while), we now offer a membership programme that allows the account funds to stay in Bitcoin.”

Bitcoin Jet Account members can place funds on their account in Bitcoin and then be charged for future flights according to the cryptocurrency’s value at the time of the booking – much like any other currency. Alternatively, the Bitcoin account funds can act as a security deposit to give the client access to membership features.

‘Many of our clients are tech-savvy’

Twidell added: “PrivateFly has always sought to make private jet travel easier to book, combining innovative technology with deep industry expertise and the secure backing of one of the world’s largest private aviation groups.

“Many of our clients are tech-savvy and entrepreneurial people, which is why we started accepting Bitcoin payments for one-off flights in 2014, a world first at the time. We are now the first to offer a private jet membership program based on Bitcoin funds.”

Seven years ago, Belgian tech entrepreneur Olivier Janssens, became PrivateFly’s first Bitcoin client, when in 2014 he flew from Brussels to Nice Cote D’Azur – booked and paid for on the same day.

At the time Janssens said: “I am a firm supporter of Bitcoin and the efficiency it offers compared with other currencies – as a payment method and an investment.”

Alongside Bitcoin, PrivateFly also accepts a range of other cryptocurrencies via BitPay. Those include: Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and four USD-pegged stablecoins (GUSD, USDC, PAX, and BUSD).