Flight Centre calls on government for assistance, flags "inevitable" job cuts

Flight Centre calls on government for assistance, flags "inevitable" job cuts

Global travel company Flight Centre (ASX: FLT) will accelerate a planned business review to identify further cost and cash saving initiatives.

The company, whose share price has fallen dramatically in recent weeks (down approximately 62 per cent since February 21), will be conducting meetings to manage the crisis faced by the travel industry.

The travel agency network aims to preserve as many roles as possible, but expects job losses across the industry and within the company are inevitable. 

FLT will hold further discussions with stakeholders including landlords, suppliers, vendors, insurers, and banks on ways to manage the financial impact of the flatlining travel sector.

Talks with the Federal Government have also been initiated to discuss broader industry assistance packages.

Flight Centre hopes the Australian travel industry will be extended support from the Government in a similar form to the airline industry assistance package announced this morning.

The Federal Government's $715 million aviation package includes the refunding and ongoing waiving of a range Government charges on the industry including aviation fuel excise, Airservices charges on domestic airline operations and domestic and regional aviation security charges.

"The conditions that our industry is facing are unprecedented and have clearly arisen as a result of the coronavirus and the initiatives that are being implemented to slow its spread," says FLT managing director Graham Turner.

"Management is determined to overcome the significant challenges that it currently faces and, with the support of our stakeholders, is ready to prosper when conditions eventually normalise."

Last week Flight Centre withdrew its guidance announced it would be closing 100 underperforming stores with plans to transfer transactions and staff to other shops while investing in new models.

Updated at 2:31pm AEDT on 18 March 2020.

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