In the presence of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, President and CEO of KLM, Pieter Elbers, today signed two MoU’s (Memorandum of Understanding) with Chinese strategic partners Xiamen Airlines and Ctrip.com.
The signing of these MoU’s underlines the importance of the China-Dutch business forum on Cooperation on High-tech Innovation and Sustainable Connectivity, held today in The Hague. The first MOU was signed with Xiamen Airlines regarding a maintenance contract for its 737 Max Leap engines. The other MoU was signed with Ctrip, one of the leading online travel agencies in the world with over 300 million members.
Network, technology and innovation have always played an important role in moving KLM forward, by making travel easy and creating memorable experiences for its customers. KLM was the first western airline in China to offer servicing on WeChat and Weibo in 2014, and opened its first flagship store on Alitrip (Fliggy) in 2016. The Netherlands and China are well connected by KLM and partner airlines, serving 8 destinations non-stop from Amsterdam to/from Greater China, with 67 weekly flights, connecting to over 50 KLM codeshare destinations in China, flying over 1.6 million passengers per year.
MoU KLM and Xiamen Airlines
The MoU between Xiamen Airlines and KLM was signed by Che Shanglun, Chairman of Xiamen Airlines and Pieter Elbers, President and CEO of KLM. Under the framework of this agreement, KLM Engineering & Maintenance will provide maintenance of 138 Leap engines for the new Boeing 737 Max operated by Xiamen Airlines.
Pieter Elbers commented: “This agreement intensifies our relationship and confirms once more KLM's expertise and competence in the area of high-grade engine maintenance, thereby securing job related opportunities in Amsterdam.”
Che Shanglun, Chairman of Xiamen Airlines commented: “Following earlier successful maintenance contracts between Xiamen Airlines and KLM, the signing of this MoU will lead to even closer ties and wider cooperation between our two airlines in the future.”
MoU KLM and Ctrip
The MoU between Ctrip and KLM was signed by Jane Sun Jie, CEO of Ctrip.com and Pieter Elbers, President and CEO of KLM. This MoU is a first step towards a strategic partnership agreement in which Ctrip and KLM will work on a set of projects to enhance the offer to Chinese consumers ranging from distribution and marketing to loyalty programs. For Ctrip as largest online travel agency, this is the sole strategic partnership with any European airline.
Pieter Elbers commented: “With so many complementary areas across our businesses and supply chains, the partnership with Ctrip has the potential to help us realize significant innovations in areas including customer service, data operations, flight route development and product marketing. This will help to solidify and grow The Netherlands’ position as the ’Gateway to Europe’ for Chinese travelers and enterprises."
Ctrip’s CEO Sun Jie commented: “With the great opportunities presented by the EU-China Tourism Year in general and the agreement with KLM in particular, Ctrip will help more Chinese tourists travel to Europe, broadening horizons and benefiting business partners in the region.”