Japanese airline ANA launches aviation-themed NFT marketplace

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Japan’s Air Nippon Airways (ANA) Group is launching ANA GranWhale NFT Marketplace, the first-ever aviation-themed NFT marketplace, through its subsidiary ANA NEO.

ANA NEO’s virtual travel platform ANA GranWhale has introduced the ANA NFT Collection, marking its debut in the NFT space. By venturing into the world of NFTs, ANA aims to revolutionize the aviation sector while embracing Web3 technology to enrich its customer experience.

“As part of the first airline group to launch an NFT marketplace, we are excited to pioneer a new avenue to connect with our customers and enhance their experience.”

Mitsuo Tomita, president of ANA NEO

“Through this initiative, we aim to unlock the potential of NFTs in the aviation industry, bringing together the digital and physical realms to create unique and memorable experiences that unite the world in wonder,” said ANA NEO president Mitsuo Tomita.

What is available in the marketplace?

ANA GranWhale’s initial NFT lineup features the works of aviation photographer Luke Ozawa, first launched on May 30. With a total of 267 items launched in its first batch, there are also works from V-TRIP photographer Taku Seike and Airbits from THE FIVE Co.

One of the NFTs was sold along with a corresponding positive film, establishing a tangible link between buyers and the artistic process behind the creation of the NFT. It was made accessible through an auction, with a starting price of 100,000 yen (around $717).

Following that, starting from June 7, ANA will offer 1,574 NFTs of two digital versions of the Boeing 787 — ANA’s specially painted unit and the original proposed design. Each piece will be priced at 7,870 yen (around $56). Then from June 22, a collection comprising 50 items from artist Akira Terada will be launched.

ANA Group has ambitious plans to expand its range of NFT products in the future, featuring unique products from diverse regions across Japan.

The future of the aviation industry

Blockchain and NFT technologies have gained significant traction in the past years. This presents an opportunity for companies like ANA NEO to leverage their expertise and capitalize on the expanding NFT market.

According to research by GlobalData, the blockchain market is projected to increase from $3.6 billion in 2020 to $24.1 billion in value by 2025, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46 percent.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also underscored the potential of blockchain technology in the aviation industry, as highlighted in their white paper on blockchain in aviation.

According to IATA director of transformation Eric Léopold, blockchain can shape the future of the industry.

“The rise of new technologies often comes hand in hand with a lot of hype. To some extent, Blockchain is showing signs similar to the beginning of the Internet and has the potential to have a comparable disruptive impact as it gains more maturity,” said Léopold.

So far, only very few airlines around the world have tried tapping into the world of Web3.

Last year, airBaltic launched its second NFT collection titled “Planies,” featuring 10,000 unique cartoon aircraft designs. It was released one year after the aviation company debuted its airBaltic City Collection NFTs in 2021.

Earlier this year, low-cost Argentinian carrier Flybondi offered NFT tickets to customers traveling to domestic destinations.


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