Alibaba Group Holding Limited, Ant Financial Services Group, Alibaba Group's related companies, and Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific announced a strategic cooperation to explore a range of initiatives to capture the enormous potential of outbound travel among Chinese consumers and to enhance the overall customer experience.
The link-up connects Cathay Pacific with three key businesses within Alibaba's ecosystem – travel services, cloud computing and payments. By examining a number of potential solutions under the cooperative framework based on the strengths of each party, passengers of Cathay Pacific will benefit from optimised travel experiences. Alibaba's consumer insights, developed based on its 507 million-strong mobile active users1, will also support the carrier to accurately and effectively reach a wider range of travellers.
Under the framework, Alibaba's travel services platform Fliggy will allow Cathay Pacific's passengers an enhanced level of customisation when planning their journeys. The two parties plan to seek other collaboration opportunities to promote global travel among Chinese consumers, building on the success of Cathay Pacific's flagship store on the platform.
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, will support Cathay Pacific with its best-in-class cloud computing services, powered by its data centers and global network resources in 14 regions. Both parties will explore opportunities for joint development to drive innovation and boost operational efficiency.
Alipay, an online and mobile payment platform operated by Ant Financial, will work with Cathay Pacific to explore payment service options at different touch points along the passenger journey. The two parties also intend to work towards deeper collaboration on marketing initiatives as well.
Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Paul Loo said: "This is an important milestone for Cathay Pacific and Alibaba Group. Following our flagship store on Fliggy, we are pleased to elevate our cooperation with the largest retail commerce company of the world. Cathay Pacific and Alibaba Group have always been focusing on providing premium services to our customers. We believe this strategic cooperation will offer more choices and better user experiences for travellers in the future."
Jerry Hu, Vice President of Alibaba Group, said: "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to play a role in the next chapter of the digital transformation of a respected international carrier like Cathay Pacific. This collaboration will make significant inroads to demonstrate how airlines can enhance their approach to operations, marketing and customer management by leveraging on advanced technologies. Alibaba Group and our related company, Ant Financial, continue to make progress in many sectors, showing how we can drive change through advanced technologies and insights."
1In March 2017, the various mobile apps that consumers use to access Alibaba Group's China retail marketplaces had 507 million mobile MAUs