Flight Centre takes giant corporate travel leap into Japan

Skyscrapers in Tokyo with Japanese Flag

Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has announced plans to launch its FCM travel management business in Japan via a joint venture with Tokyo-based NSF Engagement Corporation.

FCTG chief executive and managing director Graham “Skroo” Turner said 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.

“Japan is a key corporate market because of its size and importance within the global economy as a business hub for multi-national companies,” he said.

“By securing an equity position in this crucial market, we will enhance our ability to win new local, regional and multi-national accounts, while also gaining greater control over and enhancing the service we provide to our existing customers with operations in Japan.

“We believe this will become a very significant business and a valuable addition to our Asian network, which also includes businesses in China including SAR Hong Kong, India Singapore and Malaysia.”

FCM Asia managing director Bertrand Saillet said FCTG’s investment in Japan at the beginning of the post-COVID recovery phase underlined the newly-rebranded business’ 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,” Saillet said.

“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.

“FCM and NSF Engagement Corporation, itself a JV between NTT Facilities and Sony People Solutions, and a business with significant experience in managing large global corporate accounts, both recognise that the Japanese travel market is ripe for disruption, and see strong future growth opportunities as FCM integrates the new technology that it has been developing into the market.”

Saillet said the full FCM product and service suite will be introduced in Japan in the coming months. This includes FCM’s proprietary FCM Platform, which debuted in China last month.

NSF Engagement CEO and president Shigeru Hiromatsu said there was “considerable synergy” between the two businesses.

“FCM’s unconventional, innovative and flexible DNA resonates deeply with NSF Engagement Corporation’s belief that it is possible to use new standards for engagement to break through conventional concepts through technological capabilities, while building a strong business with sustainable growth,” Hiromatsu said.

“We are excited to partner with FCM to leverage the business’s technology and global expertise to facilitate expansion and penetrate the high potential Japanese business travel sector.”

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.

Meanwhile, FCM’s Australian arm has announced two key client wins, with Southern Cross University and Western Sydney University entrusting the brand with handling its corporate travel needs.


Featured image source: iStock/Juergen Sack

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