Flight Centre operates remotely while stores remain shut

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 4 May 2020

The Flight Centre Travel Group South Africa says it has had to make the ‘difficult decision to right-size its physical retail footprint’ amid travel restrictions and the ailing tourism sector as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

While the big flight- and travel booking company has not announced any closures, its stores will remain closed and operations will take place remotely during Level 4 of South Africa’s national lockdown. Flight Centre is also closing 40% of its network as part of its ‘right-sizing’ financial strategy.

‘In the retail sector, we will maintain a network of 60 world-class Flight Centre outlets across the country, remaining the largest travel retailer in South Africa,’ said Managing Director Andrew Stark in a letter to its leisure customers. ‘We will grow our independent model known as Flight Centre Associates to 200 Independent Travel Owners and will grow our online presence and functionality through our well-renowned Flight Centre website, exponentially over the coming years.’

One of the company’s specialised cruising brands has also been affected by the network reductions, and its operations will be absorbed by the Flight Centre itself.

Flight Centre maintains that the lines of communication will still be open via the customer care channels and that prior bookings and travel arrangements will still be catered for.

Image: Flight Centre/Facebook

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