Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) has announced a new partnership with Travelstart to bring full functionality of its mobile application to the local Huawei App Gallery.

While the addition of a new app to the ecosystem would not be groundbreaking news normally, this partnership is the first of many that Huawei is aiming to bring to the fore as the firm pushes its HMS ecosystem as a viable alternative to Google Mobile Services.

To that end Huawei Mobile South Africa notes that the Travelstart app, called Flapp, has been integrated with firm’s new device ecosystem. This means that Huawei device users can download Flapp from the App Gallery for current devices, as well as forthcoming ones.

“Huawei is excited to partner with Travelstart, as they provide such a vital service to South Africans. We want to ensure that our users will have a familiar and seamless experience when using our current and new devices, and provide Huawei fans with all the apps they need,” noted Likun Zhao, VP of Huawei Consumer Business Group for Middle East & Africa.

“In order to achieve this, we need to work closely with commercial partners and developers like Travelstart so that HMS becomes the ideal platform where developers are able to make their apps better, more relevant and more accessible for our Huawei users,” he adds.

The partnership could also prove beneficial for Travelstart too, which currently serves an estimated 5 000 travellers daily, along with looking at ways to grow its African footprint. With a presence in all Southern African countries, and with the majority of bookings coming from South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt, Travelstart is now one of the continent’s largest online travel platforms.

“The power of mobile phones continues to grow in Africa and this is directly linked to the trend in how people book and manage their travel. Huawei’s Smart Assistant technology and ability allows us to be at the forefront of this change with both companies aiming to provide the end user with a compelling small screen travel booking experience,” says Travelstart’s director of sales, Mikha’il Ernest.

With Huawei hedging its bets on HMS in 2020, we should being seeing more of these kinds of local partnerships announced. The firm has also called any local developers with a fully fledged application to visit their app site.