|Introduces American Express Kingfisher First Credit Card in association with Airtel
Flexibility to Earn Unlimited Flights on Everyday Spend on the Card
Mumbai, November 2, 2007: India is experiencing a strong growth in affluence, spend on domestic air travel is increasing, and frequent flyers are looking for a premium experience combined with great value. Recognizing these emerging lifestyle and travel aspirations of consumers, American Express today announced a partnership with Kingfisher Airlines – to launch the first of its kind credit card – the new American Express Kingfisher First Credit Card. Given the high communication needs of frequent travelers, the Card is being launched in association with Airtel giving the customers the opportunity to convert Airtel calls into free Kingfisher Flights. The American Express Kingfisher First Credit Card members will be able to earn free flights up to 4 times faster than any other leading card in the industry while providing them the premium flying experience from Kingfisher Airlines, making it the fastest and the finest way to fly free.
Expected to set a trend in the Airline Co-brand credit card category, the new American Express Kingfisher First Credit Card allows the Card members to get 2 or more round trip flights with Kingfisher Airlines every year, simply through their everyday spend on the Card. This Card also offers the world`s leading Membership Rewards program with an industry best earn rate of 10 times reward points. What this means is that a customer can earn tickets faster by simply charging their spend on telecom services provided by Airtel, spend Kingfisher Airlines and with over 500 retail and dinning Platinum Partners. The Card also offers exclusive Platinum privileges such as Kingfisher Airlines King Club Gold Tier membership and special benefits from Airtel. In the first year itself, the Card will offer an outstanding premium value of more than Rs.50000.
Commenting on the launch, Dr. Vijay Mallya, Chairman and CEO, Kingfisher Airlines said, ~Kingfisher Airlines has redefined the way people fly in India and in the short span of 29 months since its launch, has gone on to earn national and international acclaim. The partnership with American Express is a step in the direction of offering unique and compelling benefits to our guests. As such, this new launch heralds the broadening of our existing relationship with American Express and will cater to the evolving lifestyle aspirations of a young and vibrant India . The introduction of this new offering will strengthen our franchise amongst both business and leisure travelers.”
The American Express Kingfisher First Credit Card is targeted at the rapidly growing segment of young, successful and affluent people who enjoy traveling and like to be rewarded for their everyday spend. The launch follows the successful introduction of the American Express Platinum Credit Card last year, and underscores the company`s sharp focus on innovations for the affluent segment. The Card is being launched in association with Airtel.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Rob Hennin, Vice President and Country Manager, American Express India said, “At American Express, we strive to set the pace in the card industry by offering compelling reasons including outstanding premium value and service for high-spending, affluent customers to choose American Express. Globally and in India , we have deep experience with successful airline co-brand relationships and have some of the best co-brand cards. We count our partnership with Kingfisher Airlines with signification added value from Airtel to be among the best such arrangements in the world. ”
“Indian consumers are traveling more than ever before, and more importantly, are developing a taste for and demanding, premium products and service. In 2006, leisure travel in India totaled $350-4001 million and air travel increased by 45%1 over the previous year. We`re confident that the American Express Kingfisher First Credit Card will provide the perfect solution for affluent consumers in meeting their travel and spending needs.” added Mr. Hennin.
The new American Express Kingfisher First Credit Card comes with the following distinct advantages:
· 2 or more round trip flights with Kingfisher Airlines every year
o 2 automatic round trip flights anywhere in India every year simply by spending on the card – 1 each time you spend Rs.1,75,000 on the Card
o Plus unlimited additional flights from accelerated Rewards Points. Card members earn points on all their spends and 10 times Rewards on spend with Kingfisher Airlines, Airtel and with over 500 Platinum Partners outlets. This equates to a market leading, 25 Kingfisher Airlines Miles per Rs100 spend.
· Automatic Membership to the King Club : Card members will be able to automatically join the King Club, Kingfisher Airlines frequent flyer program, as a King Gold member. Some of the King Club benefits include lounge access and priority check –in.
· Special Privileges and Savings from Airtel: Card members will get attractive Airtel benefits on long distance calling, roaming, blackberry and other value added services worth Rs.7000/-.
· American Express Platinum service: India `s No. 12 service and security available 24/7
As a welcome offer, Card members will receive one bonus round trip Kingfisher Airlines ticket anywhere in India .
Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Gopal Vittal, Director, Marketing & Communications, Airtel said, “At Airtel, we pride ourselves on being a brand that is at the leading edge of innovation to provide our customers with the utmost value through our products and services. In American Express, a brand recognized for premium customer value and service, we see a partner that shares a common value based vision. We are proud to tie-up with them to bring a first of its kind offering to our high value customers, who represent a critical and growing category for us.”
Mr. Hennin said, “Today`s launch further reinforces American Express` presence in, and commitment to, India . We are confident that the Card will be well-received in India . Just as our Platinum Credit Card set the standard in the premium card industry, the American Express Kingfisher First Credit Card is an innovative product, which as the ‘The Fastest and finest way to fly free” offers the co-brand airline card with unbeatable premium value and best rewards.”
1 Source: Industry Estimates and Department of Tourism 2 In Credit Cards category as per research conducted Customer Satisfaction Management and Measurement 2007
About American Express Co Branded Cards
American Express has deep experience in airline co-branding with several highly successful co-brands around the world. Internationally, American Express has introduced several highly acclaimed co-brand Cards with leading partners. The American Express Delta Air Lines Co-branded Card has been recognized as the most successful co-brand card programme in the world. American Express` international airlines co-brand Card programs include alliances with Singapore Airlines, Thai, KLM, Air France , Alitalia, Qantas, American Airlines, Air Canada and Jet Blue. This partnership with Kingfisher Airlines and an existing partnership with Indian Airlines, are an extension of American Express` focus on creating the highest value offering for the frequent traveler.
About American Express
Present in India since 1921, American Express provides high quality travel related services to individuals and corporates in India . American Express Card products available in India include the Platinum, Gold and Green Charge Cards, the Gold and Green Credit Cards, the Corporate Card, and a range of co-branded cards. American Express is the world`s largest travel related services company, with over 60 million cards worldwide. The company has a network of more than 1700 travel service offices (both owned and representative) in more than 130 countries.
About Kingfisher Airlines
Kingfisher Airlines is India `s favorite airline and the only one to offer a premium first class service on domestic routes. Besides being the first and the only airline to offer in-flight entertainment on every seat in the domestic skies, Kingfisher Airlines is the only one to offer LIVE TV with 16 channels of live & exciting content. Kingfisher Airlines has received over two dozen awards for innovation, customer responsiveness and was voted the “Best New Airline of the Year” within months of its launch.
Kingfisher Airlines is part of The UB Group which is one of India `s largest conglomerates with diverse interests and a global presence. The UB Group is also the largest Indian manufacturer of beverage alcohol (beer & spirits) and the second largest drinks Group in the world.
Kingfisher Airlines flies to 34 cities and offers over 208 flights daily with a fleet of 34 brand new aircraft. With its significant investment in Air Deccan, the Kingfisher-Air Deccan Group is India `s largest domestic airline connecting 69 cities and offering over 558 flights daily with a fleet of 78 aircraft.
For more information on Kingfisher Airlines, please visit www.flykingfisher.com
About Bharti Airtel Limited
Bharti Airtel Limited, a group company of Bharti Enterprises, is India `s leading integrated telecom services provider with an aggregate of 50.95 million customers as of end of September 2007, consisting of 48.88 million mobile customers. Bharti Airtel has been rated among the best performing companies in the world in the Business Week IT 100 list 2007. Bharti Airtel is structured into three strategic business units - Mobile services, Broadband & Telephone (B&T) services and Enterprise services. The mobile business provides mobile & fixed wireless services using GSM technology across 23 telecom circles. The B&T business provides broadband & telephone services in 94 cities. The Enterprise services provide end-to-end telecom solutions to corporate customers and national & international long distance services to carriers. All these services are provided under the Airtel brand. Airtel`s high-speed optic fibre network currently spans over 55,574 kms covering all the major cities in the country. The company has two international landing stations in Chennai that connects two submarine cable systems - i2i to Singapore and SEA-ME-WE-4 to Europe . For more information, visit www.bhartiairtel.in.
For additional press information on American Express, please contact:
Mobile : +91 9971116928
Vox Public Relations
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For more information, on Kingfisher Airlines / The UB Group:
Sr. General Manager-Corporate Media Relations, The UB Group
Wire line: +91-22-2284 1520 / Mobile: +91-98210-91715 / firstname.lastname@example.org