Flight Centre reveals extent of pandemic revenue hit

Flight Centre's recovery has gathered momentum, but it still has some way to go.

Flight Centre's recovery has gathered momentum, but it still has some way to go. Photo: ABC

Travel agency group Flight Centre has slumped to a loss due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic but sees blue skies ahead.

The company posted an underlying net loss of $364 million for the 2020/21 financial year. Its statutory bottom-line net loss was $433 million.

But Flight Centre is optimistic about the 2021-22 year as vaccination programs gain traction in Australia and overseas and travel restrictions ease.

“While ongoing lockdowns throughout Australia are currently impacting near-term bookings, trading conditions and the travel outlook are generally improving, with vaccination programs gaining momentum worldwide and restrictions being removed or relaxed in several key markets, which is leading to strong and immediate spikes in demand,” it said.

There was no final dividend, meaning shareholders will get nothing for the year.

CEO Graham Turner said 2020-21 was “another challenging year”.

“But conditions have gradually started to improve,” he said on Thursday in a statement.

The company is already seeing signs of recovery in its markets in the US, Canada, Europe and Britain.

It expects to see the same in Australia and New Zealand – if and when restrictions ease.

“Travel will inevitably be more complex in the post-COVID world and customers will require more assistance as they navigate new requirements and try to understand any restrictions that may still apply,” Mr Turner said.

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