UATP Offers Airlines Significant Savings; Critical to Future Airfare Sales

WASHINGTON, April 5 /PRNewswire/ — New forms for payment, including UATP (Universal Air Travel Plan) offered to customers online or through sales centers can lead to “incremental increases in business” according to both a white paper analysis by Edgar Dunn and Company (EDC), and research released by other leading forms of alterative payments.

This topic is the subject of a panel session on Alternate Forms of Payment at the UATP-Airline Business magazine: Airline Distribution 2005 Conference 19-21 April in Bangkok. The author of the payment study, Pascal Burg, director, EDC, San Francisco, California said his analysis indicates that airlines could lower their credit card costs by 20 percent if they followed a two-fold strategy of reducing credit card costs and enhancing revenue with products such as the UATP corporate travel account or alternative forms of payment such as: PayPal, Bill Me Later and ElectricCheck.

Payment experts also predict that: “three years from now, payment costs are going to as aggressively managed as the GDS costs are now. You will see an increase in alternative forms of payment.”

Burg noted that airlines could achieve a savings equal to USD 12.50 per ticket if they: optimized their payment mix in favor of lower cost forms of payments; streamlined and automated payment related business processes; negotiated lower merchant discount rates with traditional credit cards; launched co-brand card programs; and became a primary or part issuer of a form of payment such as UATP or gift cards.

Continental Airlines and America West are cited as two of the early adopters of this payment strategy, which when combined with a targeted marketing program can influence customers and increase sales.

About UATP

UATP accounts are accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel by more than 200 airlines worldwide. UATP accounts are issued by theses airlines: Aer Lingus, Air New Zealand, Alitalia, American Airlines (NYSE:AMR) , Austrian Airlines, Continental Airlines (NYSE:CAL) , Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) , Japan Airlines (Nasdaq OTC: JALSY), Qantas Airways, Ltd., Scandinavian Airlines System, United Airlines (BULLETIN BOARD: UALAQ) , US Airways (BULLETIN BOARD: UAIRQ.OB) , and VARIG Brazilian Airlines. AirPlus International issues the UATP-based Company Account for: British Airways (NYSE:BAB) , Lufthansa German Airlines, Northwest Airlines (NASDAQ:NWAC) , Continental Airlines (NYSE:CAL)

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