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Alibaba rebrands its travel unit “Fliggy” to target young travelers

Alibaba on Thursday announced an upgrade to its travel platform, Alitrip, and rebranded it as “Fliggy” – or “Flying Pigs”, if you were to directly translate the Chinese name.

The rebranding is part of an effort

to target internet-savvy young Chinese, especially for their outbound trips.

Li Shaohua, the general manger of Fliggy, said at the announcement that there are more than 200 million registered users on Fliggy, with over 10 million users opening it every day.

Fliggy’s timing has been fortunate. China saw the number of its outbound trips skyrocket during the past decade, reaching 120 million in 2015. These figures made China the source of the most outbound trips in the world for three consecutive years, according to the China National Tourism Administration. Li specified that Fliggy focuses on outbound trips.

Over the past two years, the platform has partnered with international airlines and high-end hotels, including Air France, Air New Zealand, and Marriott. So far, more than 30 domestic airlines and over 20 overseas airlines opened online stores on it, according to Fliggy.

Early this year, Alibaba announced its overseas travel platform strategy for the Southeast Asian and North American market.

Fliggy is not the only way that Alibaba is cashing in on Chinese overseas travel: Alibaba’s online payment tool, Alipay, can used by Chinese consumers in some overseas destinations, enabling a convenient form of payment at overseas airports.

For the upcoming “Single’s Day” online shopping extravaganza on Alibaba’s Taobao, Fliggy is scheduled to launch some travel products to cater to a new generation of Chinese. The array of products include around-the-world travel packages, trips to the Antarctic, and explorations of the Great Rift Valley in Africa.

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