Flight Centre expands in Asia and South America

Flight Centre is continuing its offshore expansion, having announced two new initiatives to expand its footprint globally.

The first is a US$7 million investment in Argentina where the Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has purchased a 24.1% stake in travel and technology firm Bibam, the country’s second-largest travel group and the owner of an e-commerce entity called Avantrip.com.

The move is aimed at strengthening Flight Centre’s e-commerce credentials, tapping into Bibam’s digital platforms and software development teams while at the same time providing a “low-risk entry” to Argentina.

“We have been impressed with (Bibam’s) proprietary technology platform and the level of talent in the organisation,” said FCTG president for the Americas Dean Smith.

Meanwhile, Flight Centre last month announced plans to create a worldwide Destination Management Company (DMC) in a joint venture with the Hanoi-based Thien Minh Group.

The move will involve combining several DMC businesses among the two groups with Thien Minh’s Vietnam-based operator Buffalo Tours.

Flight Centre will increase its equity in the new venture and plans to acquire or launch similar businesses in other key regions to create a worldwide DMC network.

FCTG managing director Graham Turner said “We believe there are huge opportunities in the in-destination sector and it has become one of our key strategic growth areas for the future”.