Flight Centre is today making nearly 250 staff redundant and closing 33 stores temporarily.

The travel agency says the reductions are "necessary and inevitable" given the impact of the Government-imposed travel restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Flight Centre will make 250 staff redundant because of the impact of coronavirus on the travel industry. Photo / File
Flight Centre will make 250 staff redundant because of the impact of coronavirus on the travel industry. Photo / File

"This decision wasn't taken lightly and it was one that we hoped to avoid, we do not want to see these great people leave our company," Flight Centre NZ managing director David Coombes said.

"We took every possible step to save these roles but, in the end, we were left with no choice."


Coombes said the company had been forced to take "immediate and drastic action" - and further "tough calls" would likely have to be made.

"The job losses primarily affect those staff who joined Flight Centre NZ under a year ago. All contractual obligations will be met and those impacted will finish with the company today."

Flight Centre Travel Group employs 1200 people in New Zealand and supports more than 200 self-employed travel brokers.

Flight Centre has also been forced to temporarily close 33 of its more than 140 retail locations.

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This comes only a week after the company announced it had implemented a four-day working week for its more than 1200 staff throughout its 140 New Zealand stores.

Staff have been required to take either annual leave or leave without pay to cover the one less day each week for the next two months.

Staff would be required to take one day's leave a week until June 30, inline with the Government's ban on international cruise ships coming into New Zealand.


With the impact of Covid-19 quickly evolving, businesses have been forced to act quickly to ensure they survive the hit.

The tourism and aviation industries have been rocked particularly hard.

This morning, Air New Zealand confirmed it would begin cutting up to 30 per cent of its staff in response to reduced flying.

Air New Zealand has already seen an 85 per cent reduction in revenue from international flights and as much as 70 per cent on the domestic front. The airline has seen flight numbers decrease from 3600 a week to under 1500.

This could become worse if government restrictions are elevated to level three or four.