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Flight Centre Travel Group buys StudentUniverse

Flight Centre Travel Group currently has more than 30 different brands in its portfolio from 11 different countries. Photo: fctgl.com

"Our team will eventually help launch web and mobile services for millions of customers in dozens of countries"

The acquisition, which was made at the end of last year, will enable StudentUniverse, a travel booking service for students and young adults, to scale worldwide as well as grow within existing markets.

“The student and youth market is one of travel’s fastest growing sectors”

The deal will also see Flight Centre Travel Group develop its business targeting 16-25 year olds and StudentUniverse’s student verification technology.

“The student and youth market is one of travel’s fastest growing sectors,” said Dean Smith, president of FCTG Americas, adding that young travellers are “critical to the entire industry”.

“They [StudentUniverse] understand the demands of a young, tech-savvy user base and have incredible roots in technology,” said Smith.

“Combining their technology prowess with our global team and resources, I am confident that together we will change the course of student and youth travel,” he said.

FCTG currently has more than 30 different brands in its portfolio based in 11 different countries, which have an annual turnover of $17bn.

StudentUniverse will continue operating as an independent entity with Atle Skalleberg as CEO. No changes will be made to travel bookings as a result, the company has said.

Speaking about the acquisition, Skalleberg said it will provide the youth travel agency with the resources to “build an even bigger and better service”.

“Our team will eventually help launch web and mobile services for millions of customers in dozens of countries,” he said.

“And the millions of young travellers that use our service every year will now have access to more travel deals than ever.”

Launched in 2000, StudentUniverse is headquartered in Boston. The company also has offices in London, Toronto, New York and the Philippines, and has partnered with over 70 airlines.

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