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Flight Centre to cut 23 stores, 160 staff in local restructure

Embattled travel group Flight Centre is shutting a further 23 stores in New Zealand, which will see 160 staff roles cut as the business seeks to restructure its local operations.

The impact of border restrictions has made operating the travel business difficult, but Flight Centre New Zealand MD David Coombes believes the retailer has the capacity to survive the pandemic.

“What may come to mind is ‘can Flight Centre survive this?’,” Coombes said.

“The answer is unequivocally, yes. These decisions, however difficult, are made to do just that so we can continue to support our customers through the impact of Covid-19. As borders remain closed we have been forced to make this difficult decision to ensure our business stays viable, protecting our customers’ refunds and credits, and then opening up the world for Kiwis as border restrictions lift.”

According to Coombes, many staff were offered, and accepted, voluntary redundancies, and will be able to access the government’s Covid relief payments. Those who wished to remain within the business have been offered different roles.

The announcement comes two months after the business revealed it is expecting to report a full year loss of between A$825 million and A$875 million, following one of the most difficult years the travel sector has seen.

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