Flight Centre Travel Group is reported to have acquired Opodo Corporate from eDreams for an undisclosed sum and to be planning expansion in Germany.
Buying Business Travel, an online publication and newsletter which describes itself as the UK’s leading publication for travel and meetings buyers and arrangers, reported that Opodo Corporate would operate as FCTG Corporate [FCTG standing for Flight Centre Travel Group] until the end of this year and transition to Flight Centre’s travel management brand, FCM, from January 2018.
Opodo is a pan-European enterprise, founded by a consortium of European airlines, including British Airways, Air France, Alitalia, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, Austrian Airlines and Finnair. The travel technology provider Amadeus owned 99.4% of the company until 2011.
FCM has had a presence in Germany since 2006 through its partnership with business travel unit DER Touristik, according to Buying Business Travel, which added that this partnership would end once the Opodo deal was completed.
UK travel industry publication Travelmole has run a similar report, quoting Christoph Fuhrer, managing director of the business travel unit of DER Touristik, and Flight Centre corporate managing director Steve Norris.
Norris said that Flight Centre wanted to strengthen its equity-owned business travel presence in Northern Europe, so embarked on an acquisition strategy last year concluding an agreement with eDreams ODIGEO to acquire Travellink Corporate in several markets.
“This included Opodo Corporate in Germany.”
In a separate move, Flight Centre has acquired a 24.1% stake in Argentina’s second-largest travel group Bibam for USD 7 million (AUD 9.3 million).
Bibam, based in Buenos Aires, operates the Biblos brand as well as the fast growing e-commerce player Avantrip.com. The company is also the licensee in Argentina for FCM, the global corporate management network Flight Centre created in 2o05.
Written by Peter Needham