AirPlus International – An overview
AirPlus International is known to be a global handler of business travel payments that cover corporate travel management. The company was founded in the year 1986 and its parent company is Lufthansa Group. The company aims to provide business-to-business services around business travel payment, accounting, and analysis functions as well. This is done by issuing single-use virtual credit card numbers.
- AirPlus International has around 1300 employees working.
- The company’s headquarters are located in Neu-Isenburg Frankfurt Germany.
- It is the subsidiary of Lufthansa Group.
How It All Started?
One day, in a Lufthansa office building, a handful of employees were working hard on the idea of a new payment solution, specifically for business travel purposes. And that is how AirPlus was born. Even though AirPlus only started with just 12 people in a single room back in 1989, nobody knew this venture could turn out to be such a huge one and reach to international level.
On December 22, 1989, a new company, Lufthansa AirPlus Servicekarten GmbH, was formally entered into the Commercial Register at the Local Court of Offenbach. In 1990, the company managed to issue the first AirPlus UATP cards for settling their flight tickets for business travel purposes. Employees tend to work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and sometimes even on Saturdays and made sure this startup could stand on its own. And this is exactly what happened as all the hard work and effort resulted in a huge success and the company was practically bursting with startup charm.
Driver of Innovations
Even in the first few years, AirPlus proved to be an actual driver of innovation. And below we have listed some of the innovations in the 90s period.
- In the year 1992, the financial services company presented to the world the first credit card to feature a chip.
- In 1993, the AirPlus Eurocard and VISA Card came out thereby making AirPlus the first issuer of a dual card for frequent travelers.
- Similarly, in 1995, the company became a pioneer in business travel management by introducing an analysis tool that is viewed as the gold standard for analyzing flight expenses today.
- Then in 1997, AirPlus found a way for its corporate customers to combine and analyze data from different credit card providers. And thus became the first providers in the market.
Went International in 1996
You would be surprised to know when Lufthansa founded AirPlus, no single person had any inkling of just how successful this small venture would be one day. But as years passed by, AirPlus kept surprising the entire world.
Everybody knows from the start, AirPlus was offering solutions for all the professionals who have to handle their business travel expenses. And thus it was dedicated to a niche product and there was a huge demand for solutions like these in the market. So what happened next is that AirPlus became the number one provider in Germany.
Then in 1996, the company took a huge step and went international by offering all its products and services in neighboring Austria. Simultaneously, plans were being made to expand into markets in Europe, South America, and the United States.
In 2002, the company founded AirPlus International Inc. in New York and AirPlus International Ltd. In London.
Following in 2003, another important step was taken by AirPlus toward growth and expansion in the form of new regional headquarters in Hong Kong. These days, China is considered to be the second largest market for AirPlus.
The Biggest Transformation in the Company’s History
AirPlus went on generating new ideas and setting new trends and as years passed by, this company only went higher and they did not settle for anything less. Then came the year 2020 when they decided to establish a new, state-of-the-art IT landscape where an entirely new digital infrastructure will serve and connect the latest programs, applications, and interfaces on the market. This was a very big step for AirPlus and they wanted to continue to set trends and drive change.
They continuously wanted to offer intelligent and market-leading products and services to meet the demands of everyday life much faster than before and this state-of-the-art IT landscape was the answer. It was a smart combination of invisible payment, big data, and artificial intelligence that will put a tangible impact and increase comfort for travelers and companies alike.
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In the future, AirPlus plans for an even sharper focus on individuals where a noticeable amount of time for travelers and companies is freed up. And instead, they can use this time for other things instead of focusing on the payment process. When AirPlus succeeds in that, the travelers and companies will get rid of doing unpleasant and time-consuming tasks like collecting travel expense receipts.
30 years of constant hard work and bright ideas have allowed AirPlus to succeed and make a name in the world. From a small room in a Lufthansa building to being spread in more than 60 countries and offering countless products and services, AirPlus International transformed its business and reached the heights of success. The future is bright and the customers of AirPlus are always looking for constant innovation and that is what’s keeping AirPlus on the road to success and moving forward.