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Yesterday and today – our success story

Right from the beginning, we have developed and even revolutionized travel payment management.

Our company is rooted in, and continues building on, the tradition of the UATP, the first payment system worldwide for business travel. As the leading issuer worldwide of UATP, the UATP logo appears on AirPlus cards today. UATP is the world’s first credit card, denoted with numbers beginning with 1. The UATP cards were also the first to feature the magnetic stripe.

Important facts at a glance


1986 Eleven airline companies formed the AirPlus Limited Card to continue the tradition of this international UATP-based brand.

1989 From this collaboration, Lufthansa AirPlus Service Card Ltd. was created.

1990 The first AirPlus UATP cards are issued for invoicing airline tickets.

1992 With the AirPlus Eurocard, the company creates a payment capability for all business trip expenses. In the same year, AirPlus launched the world’s first credit card with a data chip.

1993 Introducing the AirPlus VISA card, AirPlus becomes the first to issue a full T&E card for frequent travelers.

1995 AirPlus, a pioneer in Business Travel Management, introduces the analysis tool which today still defines the standard for evaluation of flight costs.

1996 AirPlus breaks into European markets.

1997 AirPlus is the first provider to offer business clients the ability to consolidate various other credit card providers’ data together into one data outlet for evaluation.

2000 A new name for the brand, AirPlus International, is founded under which AirPlus products and solutions are distributed.

2001 AirPlus starts the customer-driven Business Travel Portal, providing Travel Managers and business travelers with a single Internet address for all information and services.



2002 AirPlus International Inc., New York and AirPlus International Ltd., London are formed. AirPlus enters a strategic cooperation with British Airways.

2003 The AirPlus Information Manager is released as the leading provider in management systems for travel costs.

AirPlus gains a new cooperation partner in Continental Airlines. AirPlus forms a subsidiary in Switzerland. The AirPlus International AG with headquarters in Zurich is responsible for business in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. At year’s end, a new regional headquarters opens in Hong Kong, representing an important step into the Asian growth markets.

2004 The AirPlus Corporate Card is launched in Germany with a new design and an expanded service package.

AirPlus celebrates its 15-year anniversary. Once a small, highly specialized company, it is now Germany’s leading provider of solutions for Travel Management.

2005 AirPlus offers its products in 28 countries.

2006 AirPlus Business Travel Index provides market indicators for Travel Managers. The data is based on compiled international business travel transactions that German AirPlus business customers complete annually.

A partnership with the China Merchants Bank enables companies in China to easily pay for business travel costs and provide efficient travel management.

2007 AirPlus successfully sustains its expansion course in international markets and pursues its goal of becoming the preferred global payment and reporting provider in Business Travel Management by 2012.

In September 2007, for the first time companies can automatically invoice and offset their carbon emissions – an innovation in Business Travel Management. With the “Industry First Solution” from AirPlus, companies live up to their ecological responsibility and are trendsetters in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility. AirPlus was awarded the Business Travel Show Innovation Award in 2007 for these services.

2008 AirPlus continues its successful international growth and strengthens presence in Asia.

AirPlus International, a leading global travel payment provider and Air China, the leading national flag carrier, have announced their strategic partnership in the field of business travel: Both parties today unveiled a unique air travel payment and reporting system - the Air China AirPlus Company Account. The solution provides the airline’s corporate customers with a new option to pay for travel on all national and international Air China flights and tariffs. The move shows the commitment from both parties to make the settlement of business travel expenses as convenient as possible for leading Chinese companies, multinational companies, as well as official institutions.

Furthermore, AirPlus has founded a subsidiary company in China - the AirPlus Payment Management Co. Ltd. based in Shanghai. The new subsidiary will intensify the customer liaison and support the local rollout of the joint payment solution.

In 2009 AirPlus entered into a strategic partnership with Banco Santander and thereby reinforced its activities in Latin America.

With its industry-first AirPlus Green Reports solution, AirPlus offers companies yet another opportunity to contribute to environmental protection: the new solution delivers transparent CO2 reporting regarding corporate business flights.

In addition, AirPlus has won renowned industry awards including the EPCA Award for its Meeting Solution and the Travel Industry Club’s Best Practice Award for its climate protection solution.



Today over 42,000 company clients count on the products and solutions from AirPlus and manage their business travel with greater ease, while cutting costs more effectively.

From an effective payment solution for airline tickets, arose a multifaceted spectrum of products for the professional optimization of Travel Management in companies. But that’s not all – we are constantly developing our product offerings and guarantee new, innovative solutions to come.


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