Flight Centre boss marks one-year international border closure

To mark the one-year anniversary of Australia’s international border closures, and the day that the global travel industry changed forever, Flight Centre has taken a full-page ad in The Australian today.

In an open letter, Flight Centre founder Graham (Skroo) Turner reflected on the challenges over the past 12 months.

“In Flight Centre’s almost 40 years of operation, we have never been through anything as disruptive as what the last year has thrown at us,” he said.

“Overnight, our business went from making travel dreams come true, to orchestrating rescue missions.

“I’ve been incredibly moved by the stories of our people at Flight Centre, inspired by those in the wider travel industry and by the support of our customers. I want to acknowledge the support of our brand.

“I am proud to say that our expert team of travel agents have brought home over 20,000 Australians that were stuck overseas since the pandemic started, and we have refunded $1.3 billion (and counting) in refunds to Flight Centre clients for cancelled holidays.”

Flight Centre is starting to see a strong upwards trend for interstate domestic travel with domestic air ecommerce customer numbers moving from 53 per cent of prior year bookings in January to 86 per cent in March.

“Encouraging signs of the return of international travel are also prevalent with the Australian Federal Government this week announcing an anticipated Singapore bubble from July 2021 and New Zealand announcing it could decide as soon as Monday to open a quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia from mid-April,” he said.