Fliggy Signs Partnerships With Qantas, Cathay Pacific

Australian national carrier Qantas will open a storefront on Fliggy as it looks to tap into the continued growth in outbound tourism from China, the Alibaba-owned online travel platform announced on Thursday.

Once launched, Alibaba’s over 500 million monthly active mobile users will be able to purchase Qantas plane tickets at official prices on Fliggy, while the airline will extend its reach to a greater number of Chinese travelers. The companies did not say when the storefront would open for business.

“With travel between China and Australia booming, a Qantas store on Fliggy is an exciting opportunity for Qantas to connect directly to younger Chinese travelers, who are increasingly turning to mobile applications and online sites to research and purchase travel products,” said Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans in a statement.

China’s consumers are expected to take an estimated 700 million trips over the next five years. Australia currently ranks seventh as their favorite overseas destination, after Thailand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, the U.S., and France, according to the latest statistics from Fliggy.

The launch of the storefront was part of a newly signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Alibaba and Qantas, which also included plans for joint marketing campaigns, exchanges of consumer insight and “bespoke frequent flyer benefits.” Evans said the partnership forms another part of their growth strategy for China and the broader Asian region, following the addition of a direct flight from Beijing to Australia in January.

Fliggy’s Vice President Hu Chenji said the online travel platform gives brands access to a large customer base, as well as facilitate communication with their customers.

“[Our] customer analytics could also help brands improve their marketing, membership system, quality of service and continuously improve travel experiences for consumers,” he said in the statement.

Qantas is the most recent carrier to sign an MOU with Fliggy, in addition to Cathay Pacific, United Airlines, Lufthansa Airlines and Air Canada.

Last week, Cathay Pacific also signed agreements with Alibaba Cloud and affiliate company Ant Financial. Under the framework, the Chinese tech giant would share its wealth of consumer analytics with the carrier, while both parties would research ways to increase the number of inflight payment services for passengers.

“This collaboration will make significant inroads to demonstrate how airlines can enhance their approach to operations, marketing and customer management by leveraging internet technologies,” Alibaba Group Vice President Jerry Hu said in a statement.