Datalex renews 3-year deal with Air China as annual booking volumes boosted in Chinese market


Datalex announced a three-year renewal deal with Air China, becoming the first customer in the region to benefit from Datalex’s latest version of its China Shopping and Pricing product specifically catering to the Chinese market. This announcement further bolsters Datalex’s position in the Chinese market and wider APAC region.

The increase in booking volumes recorded by Datalex in China represent a significant shift in the recovery prospects for the aviation sector in the region, following an extended period of suppressed activity. The trends shown by Datalex are also in line with indications of a wider regional recovery as the number of people entering and leaving China hit 1.013 million on 25 February this year, exceeding one million in a single day for the first time since 2020, according to the Chinese National Immigration Administration.

The positive market indications coincide with Datalex’s renewed partnership with Air China, the flag carrier of the People’s Republic of China, for a further three years. As part of the renewal, Air China will migrate to the latest version of Datalex’s China Shopping and Pricing product, which brings greater efficiencies to the airline such as improved speed to market of new features and releases. As well as achieving ongoing cost and time savings from operational efficiencies, this future-proofed product provides Air China with greater tactical flexibility and a faster market reaction time, and more choice for the airline’s customers. Migrating to the latest product version also means that Air China can leverage digital retail product capabilities in line with the pace of its digital transformation strategy and the market recovery in China.

Datalex CEO Sean Corkery said: “Our data indicates that the recovery of air travel in China is well and truly underway, and we remain hugely optimistic for the potential for our partners in the APAC region. These positive indications of continued recovery coincide with an extension of our long partnership with our valued customer Air China for another three years. We look forward to being a key enabler of Air China’s digital transformation strategy as we work together to future-proof Air China’s digital retailing capabilities. We have invested significantly in the development of the Datalex China Shopping and Pricing Engine product to cater for the unique market needs in China, bringing greater value and commitment to the region.”

The continued recovery of travel in China and indeed the wider APAC market provides airlines with an opportunity to advance e-commerce functionality and drive ancillary revenue opportunities as customers return to the skies. Datalex’s recent research report, which surveyed over 10,000 global travellers, uncovered several insights into the ‘digital disparity’ that exists between traveller expectations and airlines that still exist. Specifically in the APAC market, it was found that 33 percent of end travellers in Singapore believe that airlines are behind other e-commerce providers like Amazon, while this is slightly higher in Australia with 39 percent of end travellers believing they are behind. However, from an airline perspective, 24 percent of airline executives globally believe they are ahead of other e-commerce websites. This perception gap highlights the post-pandemic sentiment of higher digital expectations that passengers are seeking, and a need for retail modernisation from airlines across the board.

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