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CORONAVIRUS BACKLASH: Flight Centre To Shut Down Up To 100 Stores

Flight Centre has confirmed that it will shut down up to 100 stores across Australia, in a shocking announcement to the ASX this morning.

Flight Centre has confirmed that it will shut down up to 100 stores across Australia, in a shocking announcement to the ASX this morning.

The travel company broke the news today that a number of its underperforming stores would close down, as the backlash from the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

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“While people are still booking travel – in February, our TTV actually increased slightly globally compared to the same month last year – we are now seeing significant softening and expect this to continue into April at least.”

Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner, in the ASX statement.

skroo-turner-flightcentre

Skroo Turner – Flight Centre

The company has adopted some short-term strategies to reflect the current trading climate, including:

  • An expansion in flexible work arrangements
  • Reduced trading hours in some stores
  • A recruitment freeze
  • Reducing leave balances, encouraging staff to take time off during this quieter trading period

Flight Centre has not yet confirmed which stores will be closing or how many jobs will be affected, but did say that it was “looking to transfer TTV and sales staff to other shops, while also continuing to invest in new and emerging models”.

For now, the company is looking towards ‘lower risk’ destinations, such as Australian domestic and South Pacific to win leisure market-share.

Graham Turner said although the outlook for recovery remained unclear, FLT is well placed to overcome challenges.

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