Image via Farelogix

APEX Insight: Emirates has extended distribution to the Chinese market by making its content available on Alitrip, using its NDC API powered by Farelogix. The Emirates Online B2B platform, which is also enabled by Farelogix, now now features advanced seat selection and payment, supported by rich content integrated with graphical seat maps.

Chinese travelers can now book flights with Emirates through Alitrip, Alibaba’s online travel platform. Farelogix, the company that wrote the software linking Emirates with Alitrip, has also announced that the Emirates portal now offers advanced seat selection with the aid of graphical maps.

Image via Farelogix

According to Farelogix CEO Jim Davidson, airlines increasingly use sites like Alitrip to sell an entire travel experience. And Emirates, he says, views Alitrip as the best way of serving the Chinese market. “The consumer can make bookings on another website with another airline that he/she couldn’t do two weeks ago,” said Davidson. “It just opens up the world more.” Emirates customers shopping for flights on Alitrip have the option to purchase using Alipay, Alitrip’s preferred method of payment.

Emirates’ online B2B platform already allows thousands of travel agencies to shop, as well as book flights and fare brands, while taking advantage of a wide range of value-added services. The platform also includes advanced passenger information, which is IATA NDC level two certified.

“The Chinese travel market is growing at more than 10 percent a year.” – Jim Davidson, Farelogix

Davidson doesn’t know how many bookings Emirates now gets through Alitrip, which bills itself as China’s top travel brand. But using it, he suggests, makes sense, given the country’s rapid rise in air travel. “The Chinese travel market is growing at more than 10 percent a year,” he notes. “Any airline that has service in or out of China clearly wants to be in that market.”

Besides Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Emirates now flies to Zhengzhou, Guangzhou and Yinchuan. In addition to flights, travelers can use Alitrip to handle visas, as well as book hotel rooms and buy tickets for tourist attractions.