FLT Flight Center upgrades guidance after travel bounceback

The total transaction value of flights booked through the company’s networks hit the $10 billion mark for 2022, more than double the $3.95 billion that Flight Center processed in 2021.

The increase is due to greater demand for flights and higher prices for a range of routes.

“[Total transaction value] recovery has, to date, been fueled by both an uplift in demand and higher than normal ticket prices linked to a lack of airline capacity, particularly on international routes,” the company said in an update to investors.

While the company will still post a loss for the year, it expects to break even on an underlying earnings basis for the second six months of the year.

Turner said on Monday the company was gaining market share in the corporate sector as business travel rebounds.

“Wins range from start-ups and small to medium-sized businesses in Corporate Traveler to
enterprise-level global accounts like Shell and other high-profile companies are moving to [corporate travel brand] FCM from competitors,” he said.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Wei-Weng Chen said Flight Center’s transaction volumes for the year were ahead of expectations, “but still sit at 43 per cent of FY19 total transaction value ($24 billion)”.

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Flight Center has been preparing for the anticipated post-COVID travel bounceback for months. In June, it was confirmed it was extending its staff share rights plan in a $30 million bid to retain its workers ahead of the rebound.

Shares in the business have lost 8.1 per cent so far this year, but are ahead 18.71 per cent when compared with July 2021.

The stock hits lows of $8.92 when coronavirus shutdowns first hit Australia in March 2020, but had rebounded by 91.8 per cent when they closed at $17.11 on Friday.

Shares closed up 3 per cent on Monday to $17.62.

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