Flight Centre South Africa outgrows its name

In order to reflect the growth and extent of its diversified brands, Flight Centre South Africa, SA’s largest travel company with an annual turnover of more than R5-billion in sales, will change its name to Flight Centre Travel Group (Pty) Ltd (FCTG).
Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine via
Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine via Wikimedia Commons
Best known for its red and white branding incorporating the Captain was launched as a travel agency in January 1994, with its first store in Westgate Shopping Centre. However, the company has diversified and grown to encapsulate 11 brands across the four pillars of leisure, corporate, wholesale and events businesses, thus resulting in the change of name to fully represent the company’s size and depth.

FCTG now owns more than 173 businesses across the country including Corporate Traveller, FCM Travel Solutions, Flight Centre Business Travel, Flight Centre Holidays, Student Flights, Cruiseabout, Topdeck, cievents and Stage and Screen. The company employs more than 1,200 employees nationwide including a 74% female staff complement.

The company, which is wholly owned by Flight Centre Travel Group headquartered in Australia and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, has grown from a greenfield opportunity, thanks to investments in people, locations, marketing, price-beat guarantees, technology, brand diversification and a strong focus on what the customer wants, delivering on the company’s ethos of “we care about delivering amazing travel experiences”.

The FCTG evolution

Andrew Stark, managing director of FCTG, says: “FCTG is the culmination of 22 years of hard work and strategic vision. Thanks to phenomenal growth and diversification, we are no longer just a leisure retail brand; we are also becoming a leading player in the corporate travel management arena. Way back in 2010, 80% of the business came from retail leisure, today this has evolved to become a 50/50 split between leisure and corporate. FCTG also incorporates a wholesale division with a vertically integrated model known as Flight Centre Holidays, a global manufacturer of unique product ranges. We have evolved significantly, from selling flights and third party supplier products to developing exclusive holidays to suit our customers’ needs and managing travel arrangements of large corporate businesses.”

Adds Stark, “What is even more phenomenal is that we have grown from one retail store 22 years ago to 173 businesses today, all run by home-grown, young, dynamic leaders, and this has happened organically without any acquisitions.”

He says the name change is only the beginning for FCTG, which has ambitious plans encompassing aggressive growth and change over the next 22 years. “We are continuing to look to invest in getting closer to the customer as well as new technology platforms, growth within Africa and future business acquisitions with a strong focus on blended travel options,” says Stark.