Travellers will now be able to book tickets with Qantas using Fliggy, a direct sales platform for airlines designed for the Chinese market.
The move follows a recent partnership agreement between Australia’s flag carrier and Fliggy’s parent company, Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group and will give the airline access to the group’s more than 507 million active mobile users.
Chinese travellers will be able to go to Qantas’s Fliggy page to book flights directly. “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,” said Fliggy vice president, Jerry Hu. “Fliggy can also provide consumer insights to help brands improve their marketing, membership system, services levels, and continuously optimise the consumer travel experience.”
More than 20 international carriers currently run online booking stores on Fliggy, formerly known as Alitrip, including Eva Air, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific and All Nippon Airways (ANA), among others. Some 75 per cent of Fliggy’s users are below the age of 35.
Qantas has been gradually targeting the mainland Chinese market recently, notably with the launch of its non-stop flights between Sydney and Beijing earlier this year. Meanwhile, partner airlines China Eastern and China Southern have launched routes to Brisbane and Sydney, and Melbourne and Cairns, respectively.
Rival Australian carrier Virgin Australia is also targetting China, having recently entered into a loyalty partnership with Fortune Wings Club – the frequent-flyer programme of Hong Kong Airlines and Chinese carriers Hainan Airlines, Capital Airlines and Tianjin Airlines. Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti has also stated that the airline is looking to launch new routes on the mainland in the forseeable future.
Qantas also isn’t the only company to recently partner with Alibaba and Fliggy. Earlier this month, Marriott entered into a loyalty partnership with Alibaba as part of a joint venture that includes the management of a Marriott storefront on Fliggy.