Statement to Australian Securities Exchange - January 18, 2011
Flight Centre Limited (FLT) has pledged more than $2million to Queensland's flood relief efforts after today launching its largest ever fundraising initiative.
The donation is believed to be the largest corporate pledge so far and the third largest overall, behind the Queensland and Commonwealth governments.
FLT managing director Graham Turner said the Brisbane-based company would donate $10 from every international and domestic airfare or holiday package its leisure travel shops sold in Australia between now and the end of February 2011.
Mr Turner said FLT would guarantee a minimum $2million to the Premier's Relief Appeal and would not cap its contribution, meaning more money could potentially be raised for those affected by the floods.
"We are a Queensland-based company with global headquarters in Brisbane," he said.
"Our shops, our people and our customers have been directly affected by the tragic recent events in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Rockhampton, Bundaberg and some of the surrounding areas.
"We are determined to aid in the recovery and to help people rebuild their lives.
"While we guarantee to donate $2million through this initiative alone, we hope to raise much more over the next six weeks.
"Given that our retail travel businesses can issue in the order of 50,000 tickets per week in Australia, our total contribution should be closer to $500,000 per week or $3million in total.
"We will also encourage our customers Australia-wide to add to the Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Appeal."
FLT's leisure and online travel brands in Australia include:
- Flight Centre
- Escape Travel
- Student Flights
- Travel Associates
In addition to the $10 per ticket donation, FLT will match money donated by its staff throughout Australia.
FLT's staff members have already raised significant funds via the Flight Centre Foundation and have planned a series of intra-company events in upcoming weeks.
The company's retail cycle chain, 99 Bikes, has also pledged to donate $50 for every bike sold for more than $200 and every standard workshop service undertaken at its shops between now and January 23.
About 70 of FLT's retail and corporate travel outlets were directly affected by power outages and closed at various times last week, while the company's global head office in Brisbane's Queen Street was partially closed for a day.
Four travel shops in Brisbane remain closed because of power outages but are likely to reopen later this week.
FLT believes that while Queensland's overall tourism sector may be negatively affected in the short-term, recovery will be rapid given that the major tourist centres - the Gold and Sunshine coasts, tropical North Queensland and the Whitsundays - continue to operate normally.
The company will heavily promote Queensland as a holiday destination throughout Australia and in New Zealand in its upcoming advertising campaigns.
Media enquiries to Haydn Long 0418 750454