Digital e-yuan starting to be used in the aviation sector

China's digital currency – the e-yuan – has begun to be used in the aviation industry in recent months. Xiamen Airlines launched the first ticket paid by digital yuan last week. Travelers who reside in digital yuan pilot cities can apply at the Bank of China (BOC), Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to access digital yuan services. Passengers purchasing air tickets on Xiamen Airlines' domestic official website can also use digital yuan to make quick payments. Digital yuan is particularly well suited for in-flight payments if in-cabin WiFi is not available, meeting the needs of passengers paying for goods or services during flights, Xiamen Airlines said in the note. Competitor Spring Airlines has launched a digital yuan trial in April 2021 when a CNY560 ticket was paid for by e-yuan. It was the first air ticket bought using digital yuan.

Airports are also accepting new e-yuan payments. In October, some stores and the parking lot at Beijing Capital International Airport started accepting e-yuan. The digital yuan will also be used during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, as Fan Yifei, Deputy Governor of the People's Bank of China (POBC), said in July that the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 would be a key trial area. Currently, 1.55 million merchants support digital yuan wallets. According to Mu Changchun, Director of the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People's Bank of China (POBC), as of October 22, 140 million digital yuan personal wallets and 10 million corporate wallets have been opened. China's digital yuan transactions reached CNY62 billion as of October 22 this year. The e-yuan's real value for businesses will become more apparent in line with the growth in its popularity, Zhang from Spring Airlines told the Global Times.