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Etihad, Alibaba, Ant partner on customer experience

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Australian James Hogan President and CEO of Etihad Aviation Group. / AFP PHOTO / Andreas SOLARO


Etihad Aviation Group (EAG), Alibaba Group Holding Limited, and Ant Financial Services Group (ANT Group) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to expand their partnership and deliver superior products and services to Chinese customers.

The group plans to expand cooperation through greater collaboration on respective loyalty programmes. In addition, new products and services will be introduced to deliver an improved guest experience and improved logistics.

Under the agreement, Alibaba and Etihad Guest, the award-winning loyalty programme of Etihad Airways, will explore enhanced programme benefits and opportunities for cross-acquisition of loyalty points. This will include points’ conversion to Etihad Guest Miles, reciprocal benefits across premium tiers, and the ability to redeem Etihad Guest Miles for Alibaba products.

In addition, Alibaba Group and Etihad Airways will enter into a brand partnership agreement that will integrate the Alibaba Group of Brands with Etihad Airways’ premium leisure travel experience across its global route network.

Alibaba and Etihad Cargo will also cooperate to enhance cross-border air cargo delivery solutions to improve delivery efficiency and performance. Alipay, an online and mobile payment platform operated by Ant Financial with 520 million monthly active mobile users, will work with Etihad Airways to explore payment service options inflight and on the ground to create a more convenient travel experience for Chinese guests.

The addition of Alibaba and Alibaba’s related companies’ products and services is part of Etihad’s commitment to expanding the range of options available to Chinese customers.

Etihad Airways Executive Vice President – Commercial, Mohammad Al Bulooki, said: “Alibaba’s renowned digitalisation and product innovations, designed around Chinese consumer behaviour, have ensured Alibaba’s leading position in the industry.

“There is an impressive and growing number of Chinese outbound travellers exploring new destinations and unique experiences. The volume of goods transportation generated on ecommerce platforms has been amazing.

“We believe cooperation with Alibaba Group will better consolidate our product and service advantages for a convenient and refined travel experience, as well as enhance our brand awareness and jointly optimise our products and services.”



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