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More Flight Centre Farewells As Company Adjusts To Restrictive New Norms

In what is becoming an increasingly challenging and complex state of affairs for the travel industry, due mostly to the impact of borders remaining closed, Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) sadly farewelled more staff last week as part of their ongoing cost base reduction strategy.

In what is becoming an increasingly challenging and complex state of affairs for the travel industry, due mostly to the impact of borders remaining closed, Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) sadly farewelled more staff last week as part of their ongoing cost base reduction strategy.

Following on from the company’s announcement in March, a large number of employees have been temporarily stood down with some roles becoming redundant as the Brisbane based travel company works towards lowering their cost base to the targeted level of $65million per month.

FCTG said that as per the process they initiated three months ago, “up to 1500 sales and support roles may become redundant in Australia (pre coronavirus the workforce was 10,000 people) once we assess the remaining limited work to perform and undertake our consultation process.”

A company spokesperson said, “Our hearts go out to those people who are affected, and we are working to preserve as many roles as we can, maintain close contact with and bring back as many ‘stood down’ people as possible in the future.”

They also said they are helping anyone whose role becomes redundant find alternative employment as quickly as possible: “On a positive note, some have already found new jobs with employers that we have developed relationships with over the past few months.”

While the JobKeeper support program had been an initial benefit, FCTG said it “does not offset the almost total loss of revenue brought about by the never-before-seen border and travel restrictions that governments have applied, and is currently due to expire in September – well ahead of any significant rebound in travel and tourism.”

With state borders such as Queensland not scheduled to reopen until July 10, the Northern Territory earmarked for July 17 and South Australia resuming visitors again on the 20th of July, FCTG says capitalising on the domestic tourism dollar won’t be enough to sustain it through the next six months until international borders have a chance of reopening.

“We are starting to see an increase in domestic bookings, mainly since local travel restrictions were relaxed. Still, half of the bookings that our leisure salespeople typically make are for international travel, and there is no definitive timeframe for its return.”

“Even for the opening of international travel bubbles so this will be a significant contributing factor for staff remaining on stand-down or being made redundant.”

FCTG Spokesperson

Up to 70 per cent of the agency’s 10,000 Australian staff members have been stood down or made redundant since the outbreak of COVID-19.

skroo-turner-flightcentre
Skroo Turner, FC CEO

In an interview, last week on Channel Nine’s Today Show, FCTG CEO Skroo Turner said he welcomes the possibility of extending travel to New Zealand in the coming months.

“Things can’t get much worse, so maybe that’s the way we have got to look at it,”

FCTG CEO Skroo Turner

“It’s bad enough now and the numbers of jobs, people on standby everywhere, but it is only going to get worse. 

“I don’t think the predictions, particularly the Government’s, I don’t think they understand how bad it is.”

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