Flight Centre’s growth plans are slowly unravelling, with the company revealing plans to purchase a new US-based company that will boost its presence amongst younger travellers.

This morning, the travel group said it had offered US$28 million to completely purchase Travelonomy – the holding company of StudentUniverse.com (SU), a group of companies which target young travellers with exclusive deals, specially negotiated student fares and experiences via its websites and mobile apps. In other words, it’s the US and online version of Student Flights.

Subject to shareholder approval, Flight Centre believes the acquisition would fast track its presence in the online market as well as the student and youth sector.

Student Universe

Additionally, the company sees opportunity to build its digital activity using StudentUniverse.com’s advanced digital marketing capabilities, mobile suite and 160 skilled employees.

Flight Centre’s MD described the proposed acquisition as a ‘unique opportunity’ to own a company with proven e-commerce skills and an experienced team.

“SU is now a market leader in a rapidly growing sector.”

Graham Turner, Flight Centre Managing Director

Flight Centre hyperstore 3

“We believe it will be a great addition to FLT as the company continues to expand its presence in youth and student travel and as the company continues to develop stronger online capabilities, both within its existing businesses as part of the blended travel offering and in new areas.”

Turner continued, saying he would continue to look for new growth opportunities including potential new acquisitions.

Earlier this year, the travel company made a huge leap in operations when it purchased a majority share of AVMIN Pty Ltd – a Brisbane-based private charter company.

It was the company’s first move into aviation and gave its agents access to special private charter prices.

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