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Apple buys $150 million worth of plane tickets a year from United

Apple buys $150 million worth of plane tickets a year from United
[Photo: Jason Leung/Unsplash]

United Airlines has revealed that Apple is by far its largest corporate client. We’re just not sure if they meant to do it publicly. On Friday, airline operations, management, and security company LAflyer posted a photo to Twitter of a United Airlines banner from an unknown location–probably an internal company event or trade show–that boasted of the company’s biggest corporate clients.

The banner revealed a number of things about Apple’s customer-client relationship with United, including that Apple buys 50 business class seats every single day from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to the Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG) in Shanghai. Other revelations from the banner:

  • Apple is United’s biggest corporate client.
  • The iPhone-maker spends $150 million every year on United flights.
  • Almost a quarter of the $150 million, about $35 million, is spent on flights just from SFO to PVG, making it the number-one market for Apple.
  • After Shanghai, the other most popular routes that Apple employees fly from SFO are (in order): Hong Kong (HKG), Taipei (TPE), London (LHR), South Korea (ICN), Singapore (SIN), Munich (MUC), Tokyo (HND), Beijing (PEK), and Israel (TLV).
  • After Apple, Facebook, Roche, and Google are United’s next biggest customers. All three spend over $34 million on tickets annually.

Whether United will still have Apple as a client after this leak is unknown. The blurry small print on the bottom of the flier appears to read: “This is confidential information. Please do not share outside of United.”

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