Published on Thursday, March 26, 2020

A third of Flight Centre jobs under threat

Flight Centre Travel Group said on Thursday that a third of its 20,000 strong global workforce face temporary or permanent redundancy due to the coronavirus crisis.

The travel agency chain said it will review staffing on a weekly basis, adding that it has become 'unsustainable' to maintain its workforce at pre-virus levels given the severe global travel restrictions. 

Of the 6,000 support and sales staff being let go for now, 3,800 will be stood down in Australia until the market recovers. The company said further reductions might be needed and there might be some permanent cuts.

Flight Centre says current total transaction value is at just 20-30% of normal levels this month.

"We have been forced to make extremely difficult decisions, including temporarily standing down some of our people and cancelling our interim dividend, with a view to preserving more jobs for the future," said managing director Graham Turner.

"Changes to these plans are likely if market conditions deteriorate further, if [travel] restrictions are in place for an extended period or if demand rebounds more rapidly than currently expected."

Flight Centre has been in discussions with other companies and the Australian government to help secure short-term temporary roles for affected workers.

"These people that we are temporarily standing down are a valuable part of our company and, where possible, we aim to bring them back to work as soon as restrictions are lifted," the company said.

The company has about 80 stores in the UK.


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