“Hopefully common sense prevails:” Flight Centre’s global MD on new ad criticising Qatar blocking

“Hopefully common sense prevails:” Flight Centre’s global MD on new ad criticising Qatar blocking

Flight Centre gathered the team together for a quick turnaround on Friday afternoon when it released its ad asking the Government to overturn the decision to block extra Qatar Airways flights.

The federal transport minister Catherine King rejected the airline’s application to double its capacity, arguing it would not be in the national interest. The government sought the advice of Qantas for this decision, which was the subject of much inquiry when the airline’s outgoing boss Alan Joyce faced a senate inquiry last week.

The ad, which hosts the catch phrase “Let ‘Em Fly” and argues “More seats drive down prices”, is now running in newspapers across the country.

Flight Centre’s new campaign criticising the Government’s decision to block extra flights

Speaking to Travel Weekly on the impetus for the ad was Flight Centre’s global managing director Andrew Stark (featured image), who said the campaign was very much driven by the company’s boss Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner. Stark said that Skroo has been a massive advocate in bringing more airlines back into Australia post-pandemic.

“The DNA of the organisation for the last 41 years has always been around the best possible airfares and then driving the demand,” Stark said.

“Hopefully [the ad] creates a bit of stimulation and debate and helps all those in need to make the right decisions for the Australian outbound travel industry.”

Stark said that the ad – which was all done internally – came together last Friday afternoon when Skroo gave the team a call from Flight Centre’s investor roadshow.

“[Skroo] was sitting down with one of our founders and he sent us a text and we had a call and within a couple of hours the team had conceptualised the phrase. By 5:30 we’d placed most of the ads.”

The media agency working on the ad was Rapid Media and the piece has been running across newspapers around the country.

On the creation of the ad, Stark continued: “There was no huge creative budget behind this. It was all done internally and we got it out within a couple of hours late Friday afternoon.

“We’ll keep advocating what what we believe is right for the Australian outbound travel industry and hopefully common sense prevails.”

Skroo told Channel Nine that it will run “for a while… unless the government acts.”

The blocking of Qatar Airways has drawn criticism from a wide spectrum of businesses, bodies and politicians.

CATO came out on Friday asking the government to review its decision, while acting premier of Queensland Steven Miles has backed extra capacity for Qatar Airways.

Latest News