Travel Agents

FCM goes against the grain, and reaps the rewards

Flight Centre Travel Group’s flagship global business travel division is weathering the COVID-19 challenge and eyeing further growth opportunities globally.

At a time when many of its competitors have been forced to hibernate their operations, FCM has invested heavily in new and differentiated products, as well as fast-tracking new technology implementations to enhance the customer experience.

This has led to a decent pipeline of new account wins, in addition to delivering new products and services to customers globally.

Since the start of the current financial year on 1 July 2020, FCM has won new business globally with a total projected annual spend (pre-COVID) of $US700 million ($894.5 million).

Around 60 per cent of this amount has been secured in the key EMEA and Americas markets, including high-profile multinational companies in the technology, financial services, manufacturing, FMCG and pharmaceutical sectors.

FCM, which has a presence in 97 countries, has also continued to invest significantly in the implementation of new clients globally.

Total implemented business since 1 July 2020 has a pre-COVID spend of $US590 million ($753.9 million) and is headlined by FCM’s largest-ever global account, a Fortune 100 technology company in 72 markets, as well as the brand’s first-ever UK government contract, which will be serviced via FCM operations in 40 countries.

In a further positive sign, $US294 million ($375.7 million) of implemented business has started trading with FCM since January 2021, which will fuel the TMC’s continued recovery in the second half of the financial year.

Marcus Eklund, global managing director of FCM, said the brand’s strategy is “not only to survive, but to thrive”.

“Whilst many other less secure TMCs have been forced into hibernation, FCM has done the opposite,” he said.

“We took the decision to continue investing in sales, implementation, account management and solution design to ensure we were there for our customers when they needed us.

“We also continued to win record amounts of new business globally, which is a testament to FCM’s agile, flexible approach and culture of fluid-thinking in delivering the right travel management solutions for our customers.”

FCM boss Marcus Eklund

FCM’s financial stability, sustained investment in key business areas and its commitment to supporting customers throughout the last year is underwritten by parent company Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG).

In its half-yearly results announcement last week, FCTG highlighted its $1.2 billion liquidity runway as one of the key factors in the company’s success to date in “weathering the unprecedented COVID-19 challenge”.

FCTG chief financial officer Adam Campbell said decisive actions taken during the past 12 months, including a $700 million equity capital raising and a $400 million convertible note issue, as well as restructuring global teams and streamlining business operations, had given the company and its key brands a strong platform during a challenging period.

“These measures have not only secured FCM’s longevity and enabled them to withstand the impact of the pandemic on business travel, they have also ensured FCM can continue to support customers and bring exciting and innovative new products to market,” he said.

The brand also hinted in a short YouTube video late last month that it is set to launch something soon that will change business travel “forever”.