Flight Centre Travel Group

Our History

Our timeline charts pivotal moments in our company’s history. Moments that have defined both us and the travel industry. We are not an overnight success story. Our success happened over many years of persistence and hard work by a lot of people. We are privileged to have had each and every one of them choose to walk through our doors.


Skroo and Spy buy a double-decker bus and call it 'Argas'. They name their company Argas Persicus Travel, after the turkey tick. In November, they set off on their first tour to Spain, Portugal and Morocco - passengers pay £110 for 6 weeks


A little more Grunt - Bill James, a passenger on the first tour becomes the third partner and buys the second bus called Grunt


Argas Persicus Travel renamed to Topdeck Travel. In October, Grunt sets off as the first double-decker bus to tour from London to Kathmandu


Australia in their sights! Skroo opens Topdeck Travel's first Australian retail office at 333 Queen St, Brisbane. Topdeck Travel introduces six month London to Sydney bus tour, a first for any overland company


Topdeck continues to expand - Growing from 15 to 26 buses, Skroo returns to Australia once more as the deregulation of the airline industry starts. He sees Australia as "ripe for the picking", while Topdeck expands it's operations in to the USA


Customers love discount airfares - Our first store, Sydney Flight Centre opens on 29 March. The Flight Shop in Melbourne opens in April and Brisbane Flight Centre in June. By the end of 1982 there are 9 shops and 50 people


Growth, Profit and Change - Topdeck goes through a restructure and clears £50,000 with 80 buses, 150 road crew and operating 24/7. In their first year London Flight Centre makes £60,000 profit with 6 staff across a 5-day working week


Embrace a 'mongrel dog' spirit - everyone is a potential customer. Geoff Harris becomes the 3rd partner, with Skroo and Bill James. Flight Centre has 170 people, 29 shops and profit of $245K


United under one best way. The founders sell out of Topdeck and at a managers' conference in Bangkok, everyone agrees that there will be one brand and one best way for Flight Centre Stores. Operations expand into New Zealand.


Lowest Airfares Guaranteed. The iconic Flight Centre Captain appears in TV commercials for the first time and enquiry quadruples the 'Lowest Airfares Guaranteed' slogan is introduced


Flight Centre ordered to pay up. The Travel Compensation Fund requires Flight Centre to pay $1million penalty forcing the founders to re-mortgage their homes. In the same year, Skroo becomes Managing Director


The Gulf War - People are seeing war televised for the first time and are scared to travel. Flight Centre shows its resilience in the face of global issues and pivots with a more domestic focus. Flight Centre Brand hits 100 stores!


A big year of expansion! Flight Centre totals 135 stores, we launch Great Holiday Escapes (GHE) and Flight Centre Corporate opens their doors in Melbourne. We finish the financial year with 165 Flight Centre Stores, 900 employees and $8.7M profit


Going public, going global - Flight Centre goes public and lists on the ASX with 25% of employees purchasing shares. We open our first Student Flights store and launch Flight Centre Brand in South Africa, Canada and the UK and introduce Moneywise Global to our people


Increasing market share - The first Travel Associates store opens in Melbourne and our 24hour Worldwide Customer Care Centre opens in Brisbane


Rounding out the century - FCTG acquires FCM and Stage and Screen. We start operations in the USA and bring Healthwise Global to life supporting the physical wellbeing of our people


Diversification - We acquire Conferences and Incentive services that would later come to be known as FCM Meetings & Events. We also acquired Overseas Working Holidays


Expanding in tough times - In the coming months, and through to 2003, we go through September 11, the Bali Bombings, Iraq War and SARS but FCTG continues to expand with the acquisition of Cruiseabout, Quickbeds, Campus Travel and start operations in Hong Kong


A big year of change - The ACCC rules that we change our iconic slogan from Lowest Airfares Guaranteed to Price Beat Guarantee, rebrand our corporate offering to FCM, rebrand GHE to Escape Travel and expand into China


Money talks - FCTG acquires Nationwide Currency Services which is rebranded to Travel Money OZ. We open our first store in India named Flight Shop, expand into Dubai and set a milestone with our first after tax profit of more than $100M


Working well with others - The FC Foundation launches, we acquire Liberty Travel and GoGo Vacations. We enter a joint venture with Intrepid, Back Roads Touring, 99 Bikes, Advance Traders and Employment Office. We open our first FCB Hyperstore, rebrand FCB tagline to 'unbeatable' and expand into Singapore


Ca-ching! For the first time all 10 countries we operate in are profitable. FCM wins 'World's Leading Travel Management Company' (and again in 2012). The financial year ends with 2243 shops globally, 13,000 people and profit of $213M


From agent to retailer. It's the year of the customer, we transition from agent to retailer, introduce Brand Warrior training highlighting what each brand stands for, who their customers are and what they expect. We launch our own products including Black Market and Red Label Airfares. We open in Hong Kong and Liberty Travel opens to the doors to their first flagship store on Madison Avenue (New York)


FCL become Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), a change that reflects the company's transformation from its traditional roots as a travel agent to world-class travel retailer of leisure and corporate travel products. It's also the year we lose an ACCC case on attempts to price-fix with major airlines


The luck of the Irish - we acquire Travelplan Corporate in Dublin and start operations in Ireland. 2014 marks 20 years of Flight Centre in South Africa and Canada. All 10 countries are profitable for fourth consecutive year. Seven countries generate record EBIT profits - Australia, UK, USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore and Greater China and the share price hits an all-time high of $54.78. And, after a year of auditions and interviews we cast a new Captain - Richard Klinge.


20 years stronger - 2015 is the 20th anniversary of Flight Centre Travel Group as a publicly listed company on the ASX. Since listing in December 1995, we have returned almost $1.2 billion in dividends to our shareholders. We make strategic acquisitions including Student Universe, Koch Overseas de Mexico (now FCM), AVMIN (a Brisbane based aircraft charter specialist), and BYOjet.com (specialising in online, low-cost airfares)


We are in 14 countries, 19,000 people with 2,908 shops. We launch AuntBetty.com as an online brand and package holiday website. We acquire Maya Consulting in Hong Kong to strengthen our event design and production capacity. We also acquire corporate travel businesses to start our FCM operations in Malaysia and the Netherlands. It's also the year we move into our new Global HQ at Southpoint in Brisbane


Corporate and Social Responsibility - We head into 2018 with 75% of our people (and 50% of our leadership team) being women. Our People & Culture team take on the responsibility of developing new programs for removing any potential career roadblocks. We adopted a Responsible Travel Charter, and this charter has become the blueprint to help our customers and our people make responsible travel choices in four specific areas - social, economic, environment and wildlife. To date, the Flight Centre Foundation has donated in excess of $10 million dollars to our charity partners.


Record Breaking Results - The company delivered record financial results – establishing new profit and TTV milestones. In Australia, we completed our largest system migration when we switched our sales consultants’ core technology platform (Global Distribution System or GDS) from Galileo to Sabre. We acquire the home-based travel agency Travel Partners and corporate businesses in France, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. We entered an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement for our AU Leisure business and introduced paid parental leave.


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