In more saddening news for the travel industry this afternoon, Flight Centre has announced that it will close another 91 Australian Flight Centre branded stores, with additional staff cuts to come to its already heavily depleted workforce.
In what is another truly sad day for the industry, Flight Centre management apparently told workers today that only 1350 permanent staff working on the red and white flagship brand will remain, with a further 600 part-time jobs existing only until March 2021.
With no plan for international borders reopening seemingly before mid-2021, except perhaps New Zealand, the economic impact of no outbound bookings and revenue has become too much of a burden for the bricks and mortar business to endure any longer.
According to an article in The Guardian, a Flight Centre spokesman said the move confirms that an estimated 4000 or 40% of Flight Centre Travel Group’s (FCTG) people in total will now have been let go across the business since COVID-19 began.
In the announcement today, Flight Centre allegedly told staff it would be removing the role of assistant team leader and directing current team leaders to re-apply for one of the jobs that will remain available when the cuts are complete.
“Once leadership EOIs [expressions of interest] are submitted, we will assess the needs and requirements of the business and some leadership roles will be directly appointed based on experience and past performance of particular leaders,” staff were reportedly told.
Staff were also told that “consultation” letters would be sent to all affected people on Wednesday with the process set to be completed by 6 November.
Flight Centre brand has already closed 330 of the 740 stores it operated Australia wide before the pandemic hit in March.
FTCG employed around 10,000 people before coronavirus hit.
Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) reported an $849million financial year loss for 2019/20 in August due to the impact of COVID-19. Despite the dire but expected results, the group said at the time that they remained upbeat about the company’s long-term liquidity and outlook.
FCTG recently announced new initiatives such as their Travel Junction services expanding to agents outside of FCTG as well as uniting with other Australian travel companies to rally for domestic borders to reopen.
Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by today’s announcement.
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