SIA unites with Chinese tech powerhouse Alibaba

Chinese giant Alibaba, a leading player in the Internet, e-commerce, retail, AI and technology markets has revealed it is entering the aviation game with an ambitious new relationship with Skytrax’s “world’s best airline”, Singapore Airlines (SIA).

The strategic collaboration between the two companies is, ostensibly, focused on developing tech solutions for enhancing the on-board customer experience, but the unification of the two companies – which also includes the Alibaba platforms Fliggy, Alibaba Cloud, Alipay and Cainiao Network – set to give SIA access to approximately 600 million active mobile users on Alibaba, giving the airline a significant advantage in one of the world’s most vital and thriving markets.

The collaboration builds upon the existing relationship between SIA and Alibaba affiliate Alipay, which since 2013 is the smart-pay platform on SIA’s online store – and Fliggy (the Alibaba travel platform formerly known as Alitrip) which has hosted an official SIA flagship store since 2016.

“Enhancing our digital capabilities is one of our priorities”

Discussing the deal, which also sees Alibaba and SIA cooperate on  flight ticket sales, loyalty programmes, marketing initiatives, cloud services, payments and logistics Mak Swee Wah, executive vice president of commercial at Singapore Airlines, said: “Amid structural changes in our industry, we have been making significant steps to ensure we meet new competitive challenges and deliver on our brand promise to customers.”

“Enhancing our digital capabilities is one of our priorities, and our partnership with Alibaba Group will be an important element in our drive to be a digital aviation leader.

“more innovative travel solutions”

Through Alibaba Group’s advanced digital assets and keen insights of Chinese consumer behaviour, we will be able to better understand the needs of our customers and develop more innovative travel solutions to help them explore the world.”

“One of the world’s most recognised brands”

Angel Zhao, president of Alibaba Global Business Group, vice president of Alibaba Group and president of Fliggy, said: “We are very excited to be growing the scope of our collaboration with Singapore Airlines, which is not only one of the world’s leading airlines but also one of the world’s most recognised brands.”

“We have important capabilities and experiences to offer, based on valuable insights gained from serving the world’s largest group of online consumers. The lessons we have learned in helping to transform e-commerce and drive important initiatives like New Retail will help drive our partnership with Singapore Airlines and provide our consumers with higher-quality global travel services.

This strategic collaboration will mark a new chapter in our complementary relationship, as we share resources and cooperate with each other to create a new digital service experience for consumers.”

Mak Swee WahAlipaySingapore AirlinesAlibaba GroupFliggyAlibaba CloudCainiao NetworkAngel Zhao