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Travel Management

 June 15, 2006
FCm Travel Solutions Accelerates Expansion In India

 FCm Travel Solutions is planning to boost its Indian network from 16 to 25 branch offices within the next six months, to help meet increasing corporate travel demand flowing from the country's strong economic growth.

The short-term target is part of a major long-term expansion plan in India for the first Asia-Pacific based global corporate travel specialist, which is aiming to have 1800-2000 people employed by the end of 2007.

In the past year alone, FCm Travel Solutions India has established seven new offices, employed 100 additional people and increased its turnover by 40 per cent.

The group's strategic growth plan is designed to give it a presence in more than 25 Indian cities within 18 months, with future offices to potentially be located in areas such as shopping malls and high streets.

Established after international travel company, Flight Centre Limited, acquired India's Friends Globe Travels Limited (FGTL) in 2005, FCm Travel Solutions India is ramping up its resources as the corporate travel sector in India continues to surge.

According to the group, 2005 inbound tourist traffic grew by around 15 per cent and airline ticket sales increased more than 20 per cent.

Managing director of FCm Travel Solutions India, Rahul Nath, said Indian companies were beginning to look outside the country for business opportunities.

"Indian corporates are doing well and their bottom lines are expanding," he said. "We currently have 550 corporate clients on our books, and we're looking at increasing our 2006-07 sales turnover by 30 per cent over the next 12 months.

"As more multinational companies move into this region, FCm Travel Solutions will meet the changing and future expectations of India's business travel market and provide the regional and global services they require.

"We'll continue to offer end-to-end corporate travel management services, but unlike many of our competitors, we also take a more personalised and flexible approach to service."

Mr Nath said more and more clients were placing greater value on services that were adaptable and in touch with their individual needs.

"Corporates are looking for travel managers with whom they can develop close working relationships and a complete trust. That's why FCm Travel Solutions offers the only personalised airport transfer service in India - a service which has a take-up rate of 95 per cent.

"Corporates want to reduce the demands of business travel, so their people can travel more comfortably and get on with their jobs," Mr Nath said.

FCm Travel Solutions India currently has branches in Delhi, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore and Mysore, Coachin, Trivandrum and Bhubaneshwar.

Services include strategic and dedicated account management, advanced management reporting and analysis, independent travel advice, finger tip travel information, frequent flyer management, a global hotel program, and total travel fulfilment (visas, passports, insurance, airport transfers etc).