Travel Agents

Flight Centre looks to offload Melbourne office, as Universal Traveller closes its doors

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) is considering the sale of its Melbourne office tower to help the company survive amid the coronavirus crisis.

The Australian Financial Review reported that FCTG has begun testing the market for the office building, and is hoping to sell it for as much as $60 million.

The travel behemoth forked out $31.3 million for the property in 2008, according to the AFR, which currently includes its Corporate Traveller brand and travel agency Stage & Screen Travel as tenants.

An FCTG spokesperson told Travel Weekly: “We have indicated that we would consider selling the property to strengthen our financial position if the opportunity arose.”

The news comes as FCTG’s Universal Traveller announced it was closing its doors and “moving in with our parents over at Flight Centre in the next few weeks”.

“By combining forces, we’re going to create a stronger Flight Centre brand for all of our customers,” the brand’s website says.

“We’ll be able to provide you with even more expertise and even sweeter deals.”

Universal Traveller was established just last year to replace FCTG’s Student Flights offering, and encouraged staff to become “travel influencers” by proactively using social media channels to inspire clients.

Last week, FCTG announced a three-pronged plan to overcome the ongoing challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak, which includes closing roughly 30 per cent of its leisure outlets across multiple brands in Australia.

FCTG has also requested an extension on the voluntary suspension of its shares so it can continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company.

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