KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has signed a contract with Chinese internet giant Alibaba to sell its KLM-tickets directly via Alitrip, the company’s online travel platform.
KLM and its partner Air France will be the first non-Asian carriers to open their own web store on the Alitrip platform, where Chinese consumers can buy KLM-tickets directly from the airline.
The web store is scheduled to open in December and is expected to significantly increase online sales in China and further expand awareness of the KLM brand among Alibaba’s huge consumer base.
This new initiative is in line with KLM’s ambitions in China, where the airline previously became the first foreign carrier to offer 24/7 customer service via the Chinese social media platforms Weibo and WeChat.
China is an important market for KLM, which serves seven destinations in the Greater China region: Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Hong Kong and Taipei. The Chinese market is now one of KLM’s five largest markets worldwide.
Pieter Elbers – KLM President CEO
“Due to its extensive route network, KLM is well positioned in China to benefit from the growing demand for international travel. Hangzhou is also special, as KLM is the only airline to offer direct services to and from Europe. With this new partnership, we aim to reach a broader Chinese consumer audience in this strategically important market.”
N.B. Image credit: airbus.com