Kingfisher, American Express ink strategic alliance

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Mumbai, Oct 1 (UNI) Kingfisher Airlines today inked a strategic alliance with American Express to launch a corporate card.

The partners announced the launch of India's first airline corporate charge card programme, specifically targeted at the small to medium sized enterprise (SME) market.

The Corporate Card will offer India-based companies an eight per cent rebate on Kingfisher Airlines air travel which is charged to the Card and will also offer card-members an exclusive membership upgrade within the Kingfisher Airlines frequent flyer programme -- King Club.

Kingfisher Airlines chairman and CEO Dr Vijay Mallya told reporters, ''This is the alliance between two powerful brands, which are widely acclaimed and renowned for their premium quality and service.'' ''The American Express Kingfisher Airlines Corporate Card is squarely targeted at the SME segment which 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,'' he added.

The Card offers companies a rebate of eight 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.

Global Commercial Card, Japan Asia Pacific and Australia senior vice president and general manager Tracey Bowra, while speaking on the occasion, said, ''This new partnership with Kingfisher Airlines 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.'' ''Travel and Entertainment (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 spend, up from 32 per cent in 2001. Employees are traveling 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,'' Ms Bowra said.

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

UNI

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