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Australian tourists book more international flights than domestic for the first time in 18 months

Travel-hungry tourists, tired of being stuck in Australia during the Covid pandemic, are booking more international flights than domestic flights for the first time in 18 months.

  • Flight Center anticipates eventual return of earnings after recent increase in bookings
  • The demand for international reservations has exceeded the requests for domestic flights.
  • Popular destinations for eager tourists have been the UK, US and Fiji
  • Businesses suffered during the pandemic, with limited overseas and interstate travel


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Flight Center has an uptick in travel demand to help you achieve a return to monthly profitability within the current financial year, but has not provided specific guidance.

The travel agency, which was among the companies hardest hit by the collapse of domestic and international travel amid the coronavirus pandemic, says the sector is ready to take off again in Australia due to increased inquiries and bookings in the last weeks.

“International leisure reserves have exceeded domestic reserves in Australia for the first time since the start of the pandemic and almost tripled between July and September,” CEO Graham Turner told shareholders in a speech on Wednesday.

“This month’s reserve numbers have already exceeded September’s total with more than a third of the month to come.”

The top international leisure destinations were the UK, the US and Fiji, he said.

Flight Center's demand for international reservations has exceeded requests for domestic flights (pictured, passengers at Sydney International Airport earlier this year)

Flight Center’s demand for international reservations has exceeded requests for domestic flights (pictured, passengers at Sydney International Airport earlier this year)

Despite a huge net loss of $ 364 million for the 2020/21 financial year due to closures and travel restrictions destroying the business, Flight Center is confident that they can return to monthly profitability within the current financial year.

Despite a huge net loss of $ 364 million for the 2020/21 financial year due to closures and travel restrictions destroying the business, Flight Center is confident that they can return to monthly profitability within the current financial year.

Despite a huge net loss of $ 364 million for the 2020/21 financial year due to closures and travel restrictions destroying the business, Flight Center is confident that they can return to monthly profitability within the current financial year.

The company fell to an underlying net loss of $ 364 million for the 2020/21 financial year when roadblocks and travel restrictions destroyed its business. But he’s seeing improved momentum this year.

It now aims to return to ‘monthly profitability’ in the corporate and leisure travel sectors by the end of this financial year, helped by a much smaller cost base and a more efficient operating model.

During the first three months of this financial year, Flight Center says it has doubled its total transaction value from a year ago to nearly $ 1.6 billion and an 8 percent improvement in the June quarter, despite the quarter September is traditionally a smoother trading period.

Turner said activity increased in late September and intensified in October after positive border reopening announcements in several countries, including Australia, the United States and Singapore.

Still, the company’s quarterly TTV was just 27 percent of pre-Covid levels in fiscal 2019, and accounting losses have been slightly higher due to processed customer refunds, as well as costs of non-cash depreciation and amortization.

The company declined to provide an earnings guide for fiscal year 22 given the uncertainty.

“The exact timing of our return to profitability is uncertain and remains largely in the hands of the government, as revenue-generating opportunities are intrinsically linked to the reopening of borders and their remaining open; and international travel resumes in a more significant way globally, ”Turner said at the company’s annual general meeting.

The United States will welcome fully vaccinated international tourists beginning Nov. 8. Locally, New South Wales has been the first state to announce that it will open to international travel starting November 1.

According to Flight Center Managing Director Graham Turner, popular overseas venues departing from Australia include the UK, the US, and Fiji (pictured Brisbane International Terminal)

According to Flight Center Managing Director Graham Turner, popular overseas venues departing from Australia include the UK, the US, and Fiji (pictured Brisbane International Terminal)

According to Flight Center Managing Director Graham Turner, popular overseas venues departing from Australia include the UK, the US, and Fiji (pictured Brisbane International Terminal)

Flight Center has previously noted that it could present a legal challenge against national border closures if Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia do not reveal reasonable plans to restart travel soon.

Turner endorsed Queensland’s roadmap this week to open borders before Christmas, but again criticized WA.

“At least Queensland has a plan, with Western Australia I don’t think reality has come home, they are just trying to bury their heads in the sand,” he said.

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