Etihad Airways has signed a memorandum of understanding for a collaboration with Tencent Holdings, a leading provider of internet value added services in China.
It is hoped the deal will identify potential opportunities in promoting the growth and development of innovation and digitalisation for the tourism industry.
Through the collaboration, Etihad Airways aims to enhance guest experience, broaden customer choice and elevate its engagement with Chinese visitors.
Etihad Airways will leverage Tencent’s cloud computing capabilities and social media platforms, such as WeChat, to better support its customer engagement strategy in China and other potential regions globally.
Robin Kamark, chief commercial officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “The collaboration with Tencent presents a huge opportunity for Etihad, allowing us to engage with our guests on the biggest digital platform in China, speaking to them in their language and on their preferred platform.
“This is in line with our strategy of providing choice and customisation for our guests based on their preferences.
“Tencent’s established technological capabilities will undoubtedly supercharge our innovation drive, and I am very excited about the unlocked possibilities.”
As part of the deal, Etihad Airways has launched its own WeChat Mini Program, becoming one of the pilot international airlines to offer this service on the WeChat platform.
Mini programs allow brands to interact with WeChat users via advanced features within the WeChat environment, without the need for separate App downloads or interfaces.
Etihad Airways launched its WeChat public account in 2016, and the Mini Program is expected to boost its outreach to Chinese audiences.
“As we are all aware, the world continues to grapple with the Covid-19 outbreak in China,” Kamark added.
“Forging a partnership with Tencent right now shows our strong support for China, which is a very important market for Etihad.
“The continuation of our daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Beijing at such a challenging time reinforces our commitment.”