Wichita, Kan.-area businesses have pledged nearly $500,000 to fund an initiative to enhance AirTran Airways frequent flyer program, The Wichita Eagle reported.
The goal was to develop brand loyalty and boost business travel on AirTran flights from Wichita, organizers say.
Fund-raising began in May. By early June, 24 companies had made pledges, said Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive Bryan Derreberry. More businesses were expected to make pledges.
The goal was to raise $1 million by mid-June.
Affordable airfare is critical to area businesses, Derreberry said. If AirTran pulls out of Wichita, fares will significantly increase.
“This is an important economic development and community development issue,” he said.
The campaign to raise corporate travel will let business travelers accrue extra travel credits in AirTran’s A+ Rewards program during designated periods of the year.
The City of Wichita and Sedgwick County have pledged $3.5 million to AirTran in revenue guarantees to help underwrite losses for its fourth year of business in Wichita. AirTran’s new contract with the city began May 8.