Graeme "Skroo" Turner
In a candid two part interview with journalist Helen Dalley, Flight Centre’s co-founder and CEO of Flight Centre Travel Group Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner recently revealed what it was really like to navigate the disruption caused by the early stages of the Coronavirus and what the road to recovery looks like for the future of the business. 
Helen Dalley Build It Theyll Come

In the interview Skroo talks about the scramble the business went through to secure adequate liquidity for the long term in protecting both the business and the jobs of its employees. 

Here are a couple of interesting things we learnt but for a step-by-step play of how this all unfolded behind-the-scenes listen to part one of the two part podcast series here.

  • Bookings in the leisure division of FCTG plunged 97%, within just one week in March, as nations, Governments and states closed borders and ordered people and businesses into lockdown.
  • The toughest decision? Standing down a staggering 70% of his 20,000-strong workforce. While Skroo said he’s faced several disasters to hit the travel sector – 9/11, the GFC, two Gulf Wars, SARS – and come through them, in part one of the interview, Skroo said nothing compares to the Covid19 crisis.
  • Half of the company’s network of shops were closed from March to May. Skroo shared that it’s tough knowing that many of these stores which he and the business built up over the last 38 years will never be opened again:  “But that’s business and there’s no use crying over spilt milk. There’s certain things you’ve just got to do and we had no alternative, it is about what you’re rebuilding for the future really.” 

To hear more about how 'Skroo' started building his empire, keep listening to part two of Helen's podcast here where he talks about the humble beginings of Top Deck Travel and Flight Centre,  and shares insights into starting out in a new market.

For more about Helen and her podcast ‘Build It. They’ll Come’

Candid interviews with successful self-starters. On Build It. They’ll Come, journalist Helen Dalley interviews business innovators and visionaries on how they turned their lightbulb idea into a viable, sustainable enterprise. This podcast is about the human face behind taking a simple idea and turning it into a business or movement. It’s the beating heart behind what it takes to build an empire, from concept to execution, and how they actually achieve it. 

This article was originally published on the Flight Centre blog here.

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