Flight Centre Limited Welcomes First Franchisee

Flight Centre Limited’s new franchise model is ready for take-off.

After opening or acquiring more than 1200 leisure and corporate travel outlets over the past 24 years, the company today welcomed its first franchised store.

The new Escape Travel franchise opened this morning in Caloundra, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The franchisees are long-time Flight Centre employees, Therese Moss and Neil Playford.

Flight Centre Limited managing director Graham Turner welcomed the new addition to the company’s global network of leisure, leisure online and corporate travel outlets.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Therese and Neil and also for our company as it heralds the start of a new phase of growth in Australia,” he said.

“Our aim is to gradually build the Escape Travel shop network by opening a combination of company-owned shops and franchises and to ultimately overtake some of the competing agencies that also target the brand’s core market.”

Flight Centre Limited launched its franchising model to fast-track Escape Travel’s growth and to increase sales to mid-market consumers seeking international and domestic holiday packages, tours and cruises.

Flight Centre Limited franchising executive general manager Mark Aponas said the company’s franchisees would have access to the systems and processes that had underpinned Escape Travel’s and Flight Centre Limited’s success.

“With our franchising operation, we are focusing on new sites throughout Australia, with a particular focus on regional areas where franchising represents an extremely cost effective means of expansion,” he said.

Escape Travel was originally known as Great Holiday Escape and was rebranded in 2004. Escape Travel currently operates 62 company-owned stores throughout Australia.