Burnes labels FCTG content buying move “disingenuous”.
Newly elected Helloworld ceo Andrew Burnes has lambasted Flight Centre Travel Group’s new unbranded buying group, referring to the new partnership program as “disingenuous”.
Flight Centre revealed the new partnership program yesterday, saying the initiative “will appeal to other chains, unaligned agents and agents who are linked to other networks but considering their future options”.
At the same time, FCTG announced it had recruited former Helloworld executive Danny Roche to assist with expanding the Escape Travel franchise network.
This afternoon, Burnes responded to the move by Helloworld’s arch rival.
“Frankly I can’t understand why Flight Centre would suddenly open up its content range in a purportedly magnanimous gesture to ‘other retailers’ in Australia when they have done everything they possibly can to close out anyone else’s content range from being sold through their own retail distribution,” Burnes said.
“Not only has Flight Centre deliberately excluded several Helloworld wholesale businesses from being sold in their retail shops over the last few years, including Qantas Holidays and Sunlover Holidays, they actually financially penalise their consultants for selling these products,” he continued.
Burnes said it’s no secret Flight Centre are “fiercely competitive” rivals across retail, wholesale and corporate sectors, but was sceptical that agents would be “fooled into feeding the hand that bites them”.
More in tomorrow’s issue of Travel Daily.