Yesterday Japan’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), unveiled a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, ANA GranWhale NFT MarketPlace. While the initial NFTs are images and 3D models of aeroplanes, the potential for NFTs in aviation is promising, given the prominence of loyalty and rewards within the airline sector.
The marketplace was launched by ANA Neo, the metaverse subsidiary with outside backers. It raised $38.4 million in March 2022 and another smaller round later last year.
ANA Neo is developing virtual tourism so people can visit locations rendered in a 3D metaverse from the comfort of their homes. This is a great tool for promoting physical visits a shopping mall also planned. High production values can be expected given the platform’s producer is Hajime Tabata, the director of Final Fantasy XV.
Hence, it’s unsurprising that ANA Neo has received funding from SMBC and 13 regional banks. It also has a collaboration with SOMPO Japan for insurance as well as Japan’s biggest bank MUFG.
Other than Emirates and Qantas, few major airlines have embraced NFTs. However, a few years back, several adopted blockchain for their loyalty apps, including Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air Asia and Emirates.