Kingfisher Airlines, American Express to launch co branded card

Mumbai: Corporate Card issuer American Express and Kingfisher Airlines today announced a joint marketing initiative with the launch of the first airline corporate charge card specifically targeted at the small to medium sized enterprise (SME) market in the country.

A market-first, the American Express Kingfisher Airlines Corporate Card will offer India-based companies an 8-per cent rebate on Kingfisher Airlines air travel which is charged to the card and will also offer card holders an exclusive membership upgrade within the Kingfisher Airlines frequent flyer programme, King Club.

>"I am delighted to announce a strategic alliance between two powerful brands, which are widely acclaimed and renowned for their premium quality and service," said Vijay Mallya, chairman and CEO, Kingfisher Airlines Limited. "The American Express Kingfisher Airlines Corporate Card is squarely targeted at the SME segment. The SME market is important to Kingfisher Airlines and we have worked closely with American Express to develop a compelling corporate product that provides exclusive benefits to both the company and its employees.

>"The card offers companies a rebate of 8 per cent on all Kingfisher Airlines ticket purchases charged to the card, whilst card members will automatically be enrolled in the King Club frequent flyer programme and earn Bonus King Miles."

Tracey Bowra, senior vice resident and General Manager, Global Commercial Card, president, Asia Pacific and Australia, said, "This new partnership with Kingfisher Airlines, India''s premium airline, is a great deal for companies. With American Express and Kingfisher Airlines joining hands, companies will benefit from an air spend rebate programme backed up with corporate solutions to improve the way they manage their expenses. You don''t have to be a Fortune 500 company to receive savings and rewards like these."

"Travel and entertainment1 (T&E) is the second largest operating cost for Indian companies after salaries and benefits. A recent expense management study indicates air travel is the largest spend category today, representing 42 per cent of companies'' total T&E spending, up from 32 per cent in 2001. Employees are travelling considerably more with an average of 45 per cent of companies'' employees going on business trips on a regular basis. Day trips in particular have increased significantly," said Bowra.

"The American Express Kingfisher Airlines Corporate Card programme will provide companies tremendous savings on all Kingfisher Airlines fares. Unlike other card programs, the rebate eliminates the need for offer codes or coupons and provides automatic calculation and reporting simply by paying with the Card," she added.

The programme is targeted at small and mid-sized companies with an estimated annual travel and entertainment spend up to Rs10 crore.