Travellers are set to benefit from a new agreement between Qantas and Alibaba Group’s online travel service platform, Fliggy, which will allow customers to book the airline’s flights directly on the site.
Qantas International chief executive Gareth Evans and Fliggy vice president Jerry Hu have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a strategic relationship, which also has scope for joint marketing campaigns to Alibaba Group’s 507 million mobile active users.
As part of Alibaba Group’s ecosystem, Fliggy is a major direct sales platform for airlines targeting the China market, with more than 20 international carriers running online booking stores, called Fliggy flagship stores, on the platform.
Currently, around 75 per cent of Alibaba Group’s users are aged 35 years and younger.
Evans said a partnership with Fliggy makes it easier for a large number of potential customers to purchase Qantas flights.
“With travel between China and Australia booming, a Qantas booking page on Fliggy is an exciting opportunity for us to have a connection with younger Chinese travellers, who increasingly turn to mobile applications like Fliggy and online sites to research and purchase travel,” he said.
“Australia is one of the top destinations on the wish list for many Chinese travellers, and following the launch of our direct service from Beijing to Australia in January, we now have the Qantas Group’s largest ever network in Greater China.
“Qantas’ partnership with Fliggy forms another part of our growth strategy for China and the broader Asian region.”
Together with its partners China Eastern and China Southern, Qantas operates more than 130 weekly return flights between Australia and China, plus close to 250 connecting services to domestic destinations within China.
The Jetstar Group of airlines offers more than 30 return flights a week into six Chinese cities from Singapore, Vietnam and Japan.
Jerry Hu said they were looking forward to welcoming Qantas’ booking presence on Fliggy – the first Australian airline set to have a flagship store on the site.
“With the popularity of mobile Internet and its impact on commerce, Fliggy can provide brands with a large customer base, as well as facilitate direct communication with their customers,” he said.
“Fliggy can also provide consumer insights to help brands improve their marketing, membership system, services levels, and continuously optimise the consumer travel experience.”