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Qantas announces new partnership aimed at increasing Chinese visitors to Australia

Australia's flagship airline Qantas International has announced a new partnership with Chinese direct sales platform Fliggy that is aimed at attracting more visitors from China down under.

Fliggy is owned by the Alibaba Group and is designed to make it easier for a large group of people to book travel at one time, meaning it could be useful for groups of businesspeople scouting out investment opportunities in Australia, as well as for groups of tourists.

Users of Fliggy will now be able to book flights directly with Qantas, which is the first Australian airline to join the platform.

Gareth Evans, chief executive officer of Qantas International, and Jerry Hu, vice-president of Fliggy, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which outlines how the two brands will work together to create a working relationship that includes the potential for joint marketing campaigns.

This would mean that Qantas would be able to put its brand in front of the Alibaba Group's 507 million mobile customers, with the hope of significantly increasing the number of Chinese travellers to Australia.

In particular, it will allow Qantas to better target the millennial traveller market, as around three-quarters of the Alibaba Group's customers are aged 35 and under and are more likely to book travel via mobile apps.

Mr Evans commented: "Australia is one of the top destinations on the wish list for many Chinese travellers and, following the launch of our direct service from Beijing to Australia in January, we now have the Qantas Group's largest ever network in Greater China.

"Qantas' partnership with Fliggy forms another part of our growth strategy for China and the broader Asian region."

Qantas currently operates more than 130 flights between Australia and China each week thanks to its partnerships with China Eastern and China Southern. Qantas also operates 250 domestic services within China, further demonstrating its commitment to connecting the nation's residents with the rest of the world.

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