China: A particular challenge

No cash, no cards, no briefcase: When it comes to payment, China is truly an unusual market for the business travel industry. Still, we can look back on a success story in the PRC today.

We have maintained a presence in China for more than ten years and were already closely engaged with the country when the market there was still heavily focused on traditional behaviors, when employees booked their travel on an individual basis via the Internet or from local travel agents and payments still had to be handled in cash or through a bank.

That, in turn, gave us the ability to try out certain things back then, when the market was still in its infancy, and find out in the process which product might be a good fit for our customers. In the AirPlus Company Account, we were ultimately able to give the Chinese market what it needed: the first central payment solution for business travel.

Our systems didn’t speak Chinese.

In hindsight, though, we did face some challenges in getting there. For example, the language was a big barrier. After all, the Western World had a hard time dealing with Chinese characters. What that meant for our systems was that we had to identify the characters using a technical value first and then depict them using a translation table from our Chinese partners.

In August 2008, we were finally able to present our first payment solution to the Chinese market, thereby writing a success story that was very special to us. Maybe the fact that we deliberately chose the month of August in 2008 was a part of it, too – the number eight is a lucky number in China.

Today, China is the second largest market for AirPlus. The Company Account is used by more than 1,900 customers, and we execute nine million transactions a year. And the positive trend continues: In 2018, we posed 1.45 billion euros in sales in China, which works out to growth of 27 percent year over year. And luckily for us, interest in our products continues to rise!

stack of coins

Article Slideshow

Once upon a time … from grain to credit cards

Money, money, money: AirPlus is just 30 years old, but the idea behind it has been on people’s minds for millennia. A search for clues throughout human history.

Click here to join the search
Puzzle, early years

Article Video

The early years – how it all began

In 1989, a handful of Lufthansa are working on a new business travel payment solution – AirPlus is born.
Click here to travel back in time
world map network tablet

Article

AirPlus goes global – the journey begins

Our company becomes number one in Germany. In 1996 we take the plunge and become international – with success.

Join our worldtrip
innovation close-up eye

Article

A Legacy of Innovation

30 years of bright ideas have set AirPlus on the path to success.

Read the story here!
transformation finger pointing at globe

Article Video

The biggest transformation in our history

Even in times of digital change, we will remain a driving force.

The future begins today
future skyline

Article Video

Come along on the business trip of the future

Incredibly different: The travel of the future will be more interconnected, simpler, and more of a matter of course. The already rapid development seen in recent years was just the beginning.

Here's to the world of tomorrow
Happy colleagues reading 30 reasons for AirPlus

Article

30 Reasons for AirPlus – WORK WITH US! 

Our company is no more or less than the collective efforts of its employees. That’s why we support their health and comfort, ensure their security and work-life balance, and set ourselves the constant goal of being a responsible, sustainable company they can be proud of.

Work with us
30 years AirPlus video

Video

The AirPlus story visualized

In 30 years of company history AirPlus has reached numerous milestones. The video shows them all in less than three minutes.

Discover now

Es wurden leider keine Ergebnisse gefunden, die dieser Suche entsprechen.