Flight Centre lands in Japan

Flight Centre Travel Group announced that it has continued its strategic expansion within the Asian corporate travel sector. The company has plans to launch its FCM travel management business in Japan, the world’s fourth-largest corporate travel market, via a joint venture with Tokyo-based NSF Engagement Corporation.

FLT noted that Japan was a significant addition to the global FCM network, which now extended to 97 countries through company-owned businesses and licensing agreements with independent local operators. By securing an equity position in that market, FLT believes it will enhance its ability to win new local, regional and multi-national accounts, while also gaining greater control over and enhancing the service provided to existing customers with operations in Japan.

Prior to COVID-19, FCM was one of the world’s fastest-growing travel management companies. Significant investment has taken place during the pandemic to fast-track recovery and drive future organic growth, with the company investing heavily in technology focussing on travellers’ experience and optimisation of travel programs as part of FCM’s global grow to win strategy.

The enhanced offerings have delivered a strong pipeline of account wins globally, with FLT’s corporate businesses securing accounts with pre-COVID annual spends exceeding $US1.4billion during FY21 to fuel further market-share growth.

In the coming months, the full FCM product and service suite will be introduced to support consistency and improved customer experience. This includes FCM’s proprietary FCM Platform, which had its debut launch in China last month.

FCM Japan will operate from January 2022 and will be headed by general manager Kenichi Shiraishi, currently the leader of NSF Engagement’s corporate travel business.

FCM Asia managing director Bertrand Saillet said FLT’s investment in Japan at the beginning of the post-COVID recovery phase underlined the new business’s future importance to the company. “Choosing to expand FCM’s network in Asia at this critical time speaks volumes of the tremendous potential Japan has and the role the country will play in our global corporate strategy in the future. As the world’s fourth-largest business travel market, Japan will undoubtedly provide exciting growth opportunities for FCM both in terms of enhancing our offering to existing FCM customers throughout the world and attracting new customers in Japan.