Flight Centre CEO Graham “Skroo” Turner has marked the one year anniversary of Australia’s international borders closing by penning a heartfelt open letter to all Australians.
The travel giant has taken a full-page ad in the Australian today to remind consumers of the important role travel agents played on the day the global travel industry changed forever.
In the letter, Skroo reflects on the challenges each and every Australian has faced over the past 12-months and offers a message of hope and gratitude towards both Flight Centre customers and employees past and present.
According to Flight Centre, the company is starting to see a strong upwards trend for interstate domestic travel with domestic air ecommerce customer numbers moving from 53 per cent of prior year bookings in January to 86 per cent in March.
You can read Skroo’s letter below.
Today marks one year since Australia closed its borders in response to a global pandemic no one could have imagined.
Reflecting on this past year that has seen perhaps the most significant change in our lifetime, I’ve been saddened, I’ve been inspired, and I’ve been incredibly moved. Moved by the stories of our people here at Flight Centre, of those in the wider travel industry, and of our customers.
To our customers, the people we wouldn’t exist without, thank you for sticking with us as we navigated the ultimate unknown.
Thank you for trusting us when your flight home from London was cancelled just hours before departure, and for having confidence in us to get you a seat on the last flight out before a border ban came into effect.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we returned $1.3 billion (and still counting) in refunds for cancelled holidays.
And thank you for choosing our experience, our knowledge and our expertise when booking your travel now, and in the future.
To our people both past and present here at Flight Centre Travel Group, thank you.
Never before in the almost 40 years since founding this company have I seen this level of blood, sweat and tears.
Overnight our business went from making travel dreams come true, to orchestrating rescue missions.
Our people have met families at the airport to welcome them as they finally land on home soil; and help parents who came to us desperate to get their teenagers home, even though they hadn’t booked with us.
For all this and more, thank you.
There are so many of these heartwarming stories which have provided a much needed silver lining through the toughest of times.
It’s moving and encouraging to see the way people have gone above and beyond, and we are lucky to have so many of those people here to help get our community through this period.
We’ve been through a lot over the last 39 years here at Flight Centre, but nothing as disruptive as this.
We’ve had to make the toughest decisions that have affected many of our people and their families; to ensure we’ll be here for another 39, providing jobs, supporting fellow Aussie businesses, and of course, opening up the world for those who want to explore it.
One year on from when our world changed, we’re starting to see encouraging signs of the return of international travel and I’m excited.
Here at Flight Centre, we pride ourselves on our experience because we’ve been there and been through it with you.
I’m proud to say we’re looking forward to being there for many years to come because the future of travel is looking bright.
Yours in travel,