FCM Travel Solutions introduces a fully owned business unit in Malaysia after having operated through a network partner in the country for the past decade. Flight Centre Travel Group has agreed to acquire a 40% interest in Worldwide Aviation Services, a small Kuala Lumpur-based corporate travel business.
The new Malaysian operation will be managed by FCM Singapore, headed by general manager Bertrand Saillet. A team of travel consultants, sales and account managers have already been recruited to serve the Malaysian market. The new team underwent comprehensive training to enable a smooth transition from partner agency to fully owned operations. The team will be based out of a brand new office in Axiata Tower, located in central Kuala Lumpur.
The business will be closely aligned to FLT's operations in Singapore, which are headed by Suyin Lee. “We are continuing to increase our reach across Asia-Pacific and by transitioning into a fully owned operation in a key market for us, is a big step towards us achieving our expansion goals,” said Lee of the expansion.
Worldwide Aviation Services (WAS), which employs six people and currently generates about $180,000 in annual revenue, will become part of the FCM Travel Solutions corporate travel management network that Flight Centre Travel Group created in 2004.
Flight Centre’s investment in Worldwide Aviation Services gives the company:
- An equity presence in a key corporate travel hub
- A platform for market entry into the SME corporate travel sector
- The opportunity to expand its presence in the marine and energy sector, which is a key growth opportunity globally
- Greater control over the FCM customer offering in Malaysia and the ability to fast-track the business's growth by migrating FCM's multi-national accounts to it
As required under Malaysian law, Flight Centre will work with a local businessman, Datuk Haji Hamzah Rahmat, the president of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents, to operate the FCM Malaysia business. FCM now operates in more than 90 countries worldwide, including 17 countries in the Asia-Pacific, of which seven are now wholly owned operations.