Flight Centre has unveiled plans to increase its after-hours sales force by more than 60% by the end of 2013.
The company has opened what is believed to be the industry's largest 24/7 customer contact centres in Sydney and Brisbane to deliver a new level of around-the-clock choice and convenience to leisure travellers.
Eighty travel consultants are already in place and the sales force is set to expand to 130 by December 31 as a major recruitment drive kicks in.
The 50 new consultants will be divided between the Brisbane and Sydney Flight Centre 24/7 businesses.
Flight Centre Australia executive general manager Tom Walley said the contact centres would provide travellers with a new 24/7 booking option and, at the same, time a deliver a new career path for travel consultants seeking more flexible working arrangements.
"Flight Centre has developed a unique blended travel model that allows customers to transact and interact with the brand at the times and via the sales channels of their choice," Mr Walley said.
"As part of the transition to this model, we have enhanced our online capabilities and, at the same time, taken steps to ensure our expert consultants are available outside normal working hours.
"This has seen shop trading hours extended and more after-hours staff employed to cater for the increasing number of people who want to speak to an expert consultant after shops have closed.
"The contact centres are an important element in this blended travel model and will offer leisure travellers an around-the-clock option that simply isn't available elsewhere.
"Now they can speak to an experienced consultant, who can answer all of their questions and make sure all of their individual needs are catered for at any time during the day or night."
Offering all of the expert advice and support customers expect to find in a Flight Centre store, the contact centres will tailor solutions for travellers’ individual needs, complete with the lowest airfare guarantee and quality service Flight Centre is famous for.
Flight Centre's expanded after-hours operations are also set to create new opportunities for travel consultants who are seeking more flexible working arrangements.
"The contact centres will be running day and night shifts, with very flexible timings to accommodate working parents, carers, students and other people who prefer to work outside of standard business hours," Mr Walley said.
"Day shifts will typically start between 5am and 11am and run for eight hours, while the night shifts will run for eight to ten hours and will start between 5pm and 8pm.
"One of the major benefits for staff choosing to work the night shifts is that after working four shifts in a week, they will get three days off in a row."