Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Alibaba Group this week announced a comprehensive strategic collaboration aimed at enhancing the customer experience for travelers. The collaboration encompasses several players in Alibaba Group’s ecosystem including Fliggy, Alibaba Cloud, Alipay and Cainiao Network.
The partnership extends across areas such as flight ticket sales, loyalty programs, marketing initiatives, cloud services, payments and logistics. SIA and Alibaba Group will gain actionable customer insights for the benefit of travelers in one of the world’s fastest growing travel markets.
The tie-up represents a significant extension of a partnership between SIA and Alibaba Group’s affiliate, Alipay, which was introduced as a payment option on SIA’s website in 2013. In 2016, an official SIA flagship store was also launched on what was then known as Alitrip (later rebranded “Fliggy”), Alibaba’s travel service platform, for direct purchase of SIA flight tickets by consumers in China.
KrisFlyer and Fliggy will introduce two-way points conversion, allowing members to enjoy membership perks from both loyalty programs. KrisFlyer members will be able to convert their KrisFlyer miles to Fliggy points, and Fliggy members will be able to convert their Fliggy points to KrisFlyer miles. SIA and Fliggy also intend to explore further opportunities to sync their respective loyalty programs and to drive cross-promotion of membership services.
In addition, eligible Fliggy members at certain loyalty program tiers will be able to earn KrisFlyer Elite Silver or Gold status. Accompanying privileges could include tier bonuses on actual miles flown, priority reservation waitlist, seat selection privileges and priority baggage handling. Fliggy members who achieve KrisFlyer Elite Gold status can also receive benefits from the entire Star Alliance network, the world’s largest airline alliance.
The collaboration is also expected to cover the following areas:
- SIA and Alipay, the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform operated by Ant Financial, will work on extending Alipay acceptance beyond flight purchases to also cover in-flight products and services, airport services, retail merchandise and ancillary touchpoints.
- Together with Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, SIA will explore how its IT ecosystem – from web hosting to apps and membership systems – can benefit from Alibaba Cloud’s global network.
- SIA will work closely with Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, to enhance international air cargo services, joining Cainiao Network’s broader efforts in building a global smart logistics network that delivers across China within 24 hours and globally within 72 hours.