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Our company starts with one double decker bus in 1973. Over four decades, Flight Centre Travel Group grows to become a $19 billion business consisting of more than 40 brands. Today, we are one of the world's largest travel groups with company-owned operations in 16 countries and a corporate travel management network that spans more than 90 countries.
The early years of the new millennium are turbulent.
There are a series of major external catastrophic events with reverberations for the travel industry - the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the collapse of airlines, the Bali bombings, the Iraq War, SARS outbreaks and the Boxing Day tsunami.
Many other travel businesses contract during these tough times, posting losses and making redundancies. Our strategy is to keep expanding. We launch and acquire new brands. We start operations in Hong Kong and China.
We start our operations in the Hong Kong corporate travel market with the acquisition of American International Travel.
We purchase Cruiseabout as a specialist brand for the cruise market. Cruising experiences spectacular growth globally - from 8.6 million cruise passengers worldwide in 2002 to 24 million passengers by 2016.
We purchase Quickbeds, one of the first 'last minute' hotel booking websites in Australia. Today Quickbeds is a successful online wholesale accommodation business, featuring over 55,000 hotels in 150 countries.
We launch cievents as our strategic event management agency. Our Global Gathering in Pattaya, Thailand in 2004 is the first one that cievents produces. Today cievents delivers highly specialised services for the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) markets around the globe.
We consolidate our various corporate travel businesses and launch FCM Travel Solutions as our flagship corporate travel brand. Today FCM's global network spans more than 90 countries. Worldwide, we have experts and coordinated systems in place to provide clients with world-best prices for any travel route at any time of the year.
We enter a joint venture partnership with China Comfort Travel to start operations in China. We rebrand as FCM Travel Solutions and open offices in Beijing and Shanghai. In 2016, our people in China launch ‘A Better Beijing' – they plant trees and raise awareness about climate change.