KLM signs major deal with Alibaba for China ticket sales

KLM boeing 787
A Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the KLM livery (Rendering: KLM)A Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the KLM livery (Rendering: KLM)

Dutch airline KLM will soon be selling flight tickets through Chinese internet giant Alibaba's traveling platform Alitrip. This deal will give the some 1.3 billion people living in China, according to a 2013 census, direct access to the airline.

KLM and Alibaba made the agreement during the trade mission to China, RTL Nieuws reports. KLM and partner Air-France are the first non-Asian airlines to open their own store on the Ailtrip platform.

The store is set to open in December and will enable Chinese consumers to buy tickets directly from KLM. The airline hopes to reach a broader audience in what it considers a strategic market, CEO Pieter Elbers told the FInancieele Dagblad.

Ahold, Attent and NBTC also made agreements during the trade mission to China.