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September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
DESPITE THE SUDDEN DOWNTURN in the final quarter of 2008, AirPlus recorded another record year in terms of volume, sales and performance.
The business travel payment provider was responsible for settlements totalling €18.1 billion, with 30 per cent growth in markets outside its German base. Pre-tax profit rose from €18 million in 2007 to €20.2 million on revenue of €230 billion.
"By any standards, 2008 was an excellent year for us," said Patrick Diemer, AirPlus chairman.
Research conducted by AirPlus in March among 1,500 travel managers on how the economic crisis was affecting travel management, however, indicated that air ticket sales were down by almost one-fifth on the first two months of 2007. Furthermore, five per cent of companies in Europe indicated they had cancelled all their travel activities during the period, compared to 19 per cent in the US and a quarter of companies questioned in Asia.
The research also showed that for Business Class travel, the average time between booking and departure increased from 6.8 days in 2007 to 10.8 days in 2009, suggesting that companies are taking advantage of the benefits of booking further in advance. In the UK, the take-up of the new AirPlus corporate card at the end of last year had exceeded expectation, with more than 50 companies now rolling it out for staff.
Other highlights of the year was the selection of AirPlus by BT as its global corporate card provider, the introduction of the latest generation of its management information system, and the launch of a global online community on a trial basis to establish whether there is a need for social networking among business travel professionals.