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China's Alibaba partners with largest Aussie airline

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-11 14:30

SYDNEY - Australia's largest airline Qantas announced a partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba on Friday, that will see Chinese travellers able to buy flights from Qantas directly on the associated site.

The partnership to create a strategic relationship between the two companies gives the world-renowned Australian airline access to over 507 million active mobile users of the Alibaba platform in China, with over 75 percent of those users aged 35 years old or younger.

The chief executive of Qantas, Gareth Evans, lauded the partnership, and said it will make the process of coming to Australia easier for the many Chinese tourists who would like to, and do travel there every year.

"With travel between China and Australia booming ... (this) is an exciting opportunity for us to have a connection with younger Chinese travellers, who increasingly turn to mobile applications," Evans said.

Evans said his company plans to develop its presence in China even further, with the airline already operating more than 130 return flights between Australia and China every week.

With many of the likely users of this new platform being millennials, this relationship is set to take advantage of a shift in travellers that was identified by the managing director of Tourism Australia, John O'Sullivan, who said in a recent interview with Xinhua that the nature of Chinese tourism to Australia is changing.

"What we are seeing now is an amazing change within the Chinese tourists in Australia. We are seeing a far more sophisticated visitor coming to Australia than was coming probably two or three years ago," O'Sullivan said.

According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Economics, airline passenger traffic between Australia and China was up 28.7 percent in 2016.

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