AirAsia has signed a new deal intended to increase the number of passengers it attracts from China.
The low-cost carrier has penned a partnership with UnionPay International, allowing the Chinese payment service’s cardholders to pay for flights booked on airasia.com.
In addition, AirAsia’s sister company Tune Money will issue a multi-currency prepaid card in partnership with UnionPay, which will be available in Chinese yuan, Thai baht and Hong Kong dollars.
The agreement was signed by Cai Jianbo, CEO of UnionPay International, and Tony Fernandes, group CEO of AirAsia, at a ceremony in Shanghai.
“The partnership represents our commitment to the Chinese market that will allow more people in China to fly, boosting tourism between China and Southeast Asia and beyond,” said Fernandes. “We are always looking for ways to make travel more accessible to the masses and there is no better partner than UnionPay in China.”
Having launched its first flight to China 10 years ago, AirAsia now operates 352 weekly flights on 34 routes to 16 destinations in Greater China.
“China has become one of the most important markets for AirAsia and we value all Chinese customers’ experience with us. We plan to continue to expand our network in China with increasing frequencies and will constantly improve upon our products and services to satisfy the needs of our Chinese guests,” Fernandes added.
UnionPay will also support AirAsia’s loyalty programme, BIG, with plans to launch a co-branded card in the third quarter of this year.