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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Etihad and Alibaba sign deal to tie up loyalty programmes

Abu Dhabi carrier continues to expand its reach in China by signing a memorandum of understanding with Alibaba Group and Ant Financial Services

Etihad has increased its partnership with Alibaba to further expand its reach into China. Courtesy of Etihad Airways
Etihad has increased its partnership with Alibaba to further expand its reach into China. Courtesy of Etihad Airways

Etihad Aviation Group signed a memorandum of understanding on Sunday with Alibaba Group and Ant Financial Services to expand services in China.

Etihad and Alibaba will tie up their loyalty programmes, which will include point conversion to Etihad Guest Miles as well as redeeming Etihad miles for Alibaba products.

Mohammed Al Bulooki, Etihad’s executive vice president of commercial, said that the partnership would help consolidate the company’s services to jointly expand brand awareness.

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

The two will also integrate Alibaba with Etihad Cargo to create a cross-border air cargo delivery solution to improve efficiency and performance.

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Meanwhile the Ant Financial-operated Alipay, with more than 500 million monthly mobile users, will work with the Abu Dhabi carrier to explore payment options for inflight and on the ground.

“Alibaba’s complete commercial ecosystem, significant big data resources and cutting-edge technology combined with Etihad Airways’ remarkable services and products and extensive global network will markedly improve Chinese passengers’ comprehensive travel experience,” said Chris Tung, Alibaba’s chief marketing officer.

“We are delighted to see the partnership between Alibaba and Etihad rapidly taking shape with close cooperation on formulating innovative methods that will further enhance our awareness and influence in the global marketplace."

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