A year after an exodus of hundreds of staff, Flight Centre is giving away parcels of 250 shares to help retain those still with the business.
The shares in the company listed on the Australian sharemarket will be vested to about 7500 workers around the world, with about 400 remaining staff in New Zealand eligible.
About 1.9 million shares will be given to staff who continue their employment with the travel group through to December this year, at an expected non-cash cost of $30million based on today's share price of $A14.85, $15.94.
Flight Centre is the second company in the hard-hit travel sector to announce a share giveaway to staff within the last month. Air New Zealand said 8000 staff would get $1000 worth of shares towards the end of the year.
Flight Centre NZ managing director David Coombes said the company wanted to reward staff after the last 16 months which had been tough for the sector.
''Our people have given so much to Flight Centre over the past 16 months and we could not be more appreciative of their hard work. It's our way of saying thanks and showing our confidence in the recovery of the industry and our business," he said.
The share giveaway was being done at the time of what the firm believes will be an important 18-month period as vaccinations progress, trading conditions start to normalise and the recovery gains momentum.
Coombes said staff had shown resilience and loyalty since the pandemic began and heavy travel restrictions were imposed, badly hitting their earning potential.
Staff had continued to work ''incredibly hard'' to help customers secure refunds or rearrange their travel plans.
According to Bloomberg Flight Centre in May issued implied guidance for an underlying full-year loss of around $A500 million and the firm has had to raise more than $1 billion in fresh debt to weather the crisis.
It suffered a $233 million loss for the six months ended December 31 from a $22 million profit a year earlier.
In New Zealand, the company had 1200 staff before Covid-19 hit but has shed close to two thirds of its workforce through redundancy or attrition. It has closed scores of its retail stores.
However, it has hired 50 staff during the past five months with 80 per cent of them being past workers returning.