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AirPlus International maintains a steady growth, AirPlus China has achieved initial success through segment diversification

Lucy and Michiel

“Innovation” drives, AirPlus International speeds up the internationalization in global market; AirPlus China reached new heights with efforts and gains

Beijing-China, Jun 21, 2017 – AirPlus International, a leading global provider of payment and billing solutions for business travel, released a business status report on fiscal year (FY) 2016 in Beijing. The Report reveals that AirPlus International delivered a year of outstanding performance by reporting €14 billion (or 102.2 billion yuan) in global sales in fiscal year (FY) 2016, €76 million (or 555 million yuan) in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), a growth of 46% year-over-year compared to €52 million in 2015. Meanwhile, AirPlus China maintained an impressive sales growth for eight consecutive years, with its issuing volume at 7.3 billion yuan (6.8 billion yuan in 2015), or a 7.4 percent increase year-over-year, making it sustain the leading position in China’s business travel payment management market.

Innovative products has become the new point of growth in the global market

Mr. Michiel Verhaagen, CCO and Executive Board Member Lufthansa AirPlus introduced seven new products at the press conference, which draw great attention. These new payment solutions fully integrate business travel expenditure caused by “sharing economy” and “mobile payment”, providing a developed payment manage tool for business travel managers. As Mr. Verhaagen said, “Our efforts in product innovation have made it possible for us to maintain steady sales growth despite the adverse effects arising from the slow-down of global economic growth and continual decrease in air tickets. Our acute sense of the market and deep understanding of the customers’ demand enable us to maintain the leading position in the global economics and be recognized by the market. For instance, the issuing volume of AirPlus Integrated Data Acceptance (A.I.D.A), a mobile payment solution launched in recent two years, has gained a sharp increase of 34% in Year 2016. In addition, the acquisiton of BCC Corporate in the European market further expands the services and products of AirPlus.

The “segment diversification” strategy facilitates AirPlus’s leading position in China market

As the fourth biggest market of AirPlus International, AirPlus China has retained 298 local enterprise customers, with the total number of customers reaching 1,507, growing by 25% in the fiscal year 2016. The annual transaction is 6,410,479, increasing by 34% year-over-year. The average transaction per day is 17,515.

Commenting on AirPlus China’s outstanding performance in the last year, Ms. Wang Lu, Managing Director of AirPlus International China, remarked, “2016 is a year of efforts and gains for AirPlus China. In this year, to answer the call of China’s policy, we initiated the ‘Value Added Tax’ project and mobilized the team both in AirPlus headquarter in Germany and China. The successful implementation of VAT project benefits our customers from the nation’s reform in the first place. Meanwhile, our ‘segment diversification’ strategy has reached its initial success in China market. The performance of local enterprises is particularly impressive. Its volume share has grown to 34% in 2016 compared to 24% in 2014. Concerning the focus of AirPlus China in the future, Ms. Wang Lu said, “In the next three years, AirPlus China will speed up the implementation of segment diversification with focus on developing local enterprise customers. At the same time, we are moving into the market of Tier 2 cities in China. Besides, with the rapid development of mobile payment, we are probing into mobile payment solutions customized to local circumstances in order to help domestic enterprises with the integration of business travel payment. ”

China’s business travel market will remain a steady growth, mobile payment is gradually accepting by business travel industry

The 2017 ITMS reveals that Chinese business travel managers generally hold an optimistic view on the business travel market for the following year. 41% of the respondents said China’s economic development is affecting the business travel market in a positive way. 45% of Chinese business travel managers predicted that business travel volume is going up in the coming year, surpassing the average level of Asia-Pacific region and the world, which indicates that China market for business travel management has a big potential for development.

Air fares and the hotel accommodations are the top 2 expenditures of the travel expense. Yet 44% of the Chinese business travel managers believed that these two spendings will rise continuously. According to analysis, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Belt and Road Initiative have promoted the economic intersection in the global scale and further expand the China business travel market.

Chinese business travel managers gradually accept the rapid developing mobile payment. 71% of them said they accept or maybe accept it, compared to 33% in 2015. 91% of the business travelers stated that they have used or are using mobile payment while 60% of them have already paid the business travel expense with mobile payment applications.

When asking about the most significant criteria of choosing a new payment, the top two concerns are payment security and data security, which account for 52% and 42% of Chinese business travel managers respectively. As it can be seen, Chinese business travel managers are weighing this newly-risen payment with professional attitude despite its sharp impact, which is why cash and credit card remain the major payments at present.

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