Chinese OTA Tongcheng-Elong and Kiwi.com have today announced a new strategic partnership to further boost flight availability across global markets. An agreement was signed between Oliver Dlouhy, CEO Kiwi.com and Dong Gaozhi, general manager of Air Business Unit at Tongcheng-Elong in Shanghai.
Tongcheng-Elong is a Chinese OTA, born of the merger between Tongcheng Network and Elong Travel Inc in March 2018, and provides a reservation service for a range of travel products. In 2017, Tongcheng-Elong was in the top three OTAs in China, based on the volume of transactions.
Czech company Kiwi.com was founded in 2012 and works with over 500 air carriers to provide a deep inventory to allow travellers to customise their itineraries.
“massive search capability and data processing power”
Gaozhi said at the signing: “Tongcheng-Elong, as an internet enterprise driven by technology, has tremendous advantages in technology and service. The massive search capability and data processing power of Kiwi.com complements our extensive travel offerings, and I’m sure that this will further accelerate the growth of our business.
“China and the wider APAC market has fully embraced low-cost carrier offerings, and more people are travelling than ever before. This partnership with Kiwi.com will enable us to offer better value, faster, and deliver on our mission of making travel simpler and more enjoyable to travellers worldwide.”
Xu Jianzhong, senior vice president of Tongcheng-Elong, said that he was pleased to establish in-depth cooperation with Kiwi.com, and open a new chapter of collaboration between low-cost aviation virtual interline products and OTAs.
Users of both products will be able to experience the cheaper prices offered by Tongcheng-Elong and personalised air travel experiences tailored to individual customers’ personal preferences.
“Huge potential here for our Virtually Interlined flights”
Dlouhy added: “Our global footprint is expanding and we are thrilled to be partnering with Tongcheng-Elong, a market leader in China. Tongcheng-Elong has a significant customer base and there are obvious natural synergies. Kiwi.com already has a good presence in China, but this will boost it massively. To support this, we have recently started building a local team and will soon open a dedicated office in China to support our growing initiatives.
“China is a key market for us, I see huge potential here for our Virtually Interlined flights and other capabilities – such as connecting up of Chinese high-speed rail with flights, made possible through our unique technology”.
Tongcheng-Elong already provides users with personalised travel solutions with virtual personal assistants and hopes to transform the concept of OTA, which has been very familiar for ten years, into a new concept of ITA.
“This deal with Tongcheng-Elong is yet another milestone for Kiwi.com in China, coming so soon after our Spring Airlines cooperation. We look forward to working very closely with our partners”, concluded Dlouhy.